Saturday, November 14, 2009

meat me at the manger

As we quickly approach the holiday season, CNN recently reported that shoplifting is on the rise, no doubt a result of global recessionary times. Citing a report published by the Center for Retail Research in the UK, retail crimes rose 8.8% in the US alone, which translates to a cost of approximately $435 per household, assuming that shrinkage costs are defrayed by higher prices to consumers. The report also documents the most popular items to be jacked are smaller items (of course) like razor blades, perfume, cosmetics, iPods, GPS devices and cell phones. Larger items (OK, now they're getting greedy) like laptops and Wii components were also on the list. It was surmised that most of the heisted items were intended for resale, though GPS devices would be useful to track your most profitable waypoints and boosting routes or display nearby retail establishments if you find yourself in unfamiliar territory across state lines. For that matter, the razor blades and cosmetics could also come in handy for a quick change of appearance.

To me, the most intriguing category of the report highlights the popular items taken from supermarkets, presumably for personal consumption. Tops on the list were meat and cheese.

Meat and cheese???

Well, yes, they do pair well together but don't perishable items pose logistical problems? Thinking back to Trading Places, Louis's salmon (though previously cured by smoking) must have been pretty rank and even more salty by the time he got home. And, you have to be equally careful with cheeses. Your higher priced cheeses are generally more perishable and shredded varieties would most likely be nacho sauce by the time you get home, but that might be the intended result anyway. Nothing like nachos and beer after a hard day's work.

Of course, you don't have to place your catch so close to your body's warmth and could conceivably conceal it with your other products in a shopping bag. Extra precautions would be necessary to isolate it appropriately, requiring additional time that could get you caught. Of course, blood stains on the packaging may devalue your Wii or could make your clientele unduly suspicious of your supply chain.

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