Ever wonder how that gift you’re about to open made it under the tree in the first place? Hmmm.
According to an Associated Press report, an estimated $1.8 billion in merchandise will have been shoplifted by the time Christmas Day arrives Sunday, and retailers will lose a total of about $5 billion during the period when you factor in employee and vendor thefts.
Researchers for the National Retail Federation trade group said shoppers, many of whom have been hit hard by a struggling economy that has left them either jobless or sorely underpaid, are stealing everything from necessities to luxuries that are no longer within legitimate reach.
Just blaming the economy, however, is a cop-out since the holiday traditionally is a big lure to shoppers and thieves alike.
More from the AP:
An estimated one in 11 Americans shoplift, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. … About 75 percent of shoplifters are adults — equally men and women — while kids make up about 25 percent. More than 70 percent of shoplifters say they did not plan ahead to steal and they acted spontaneously.
Shoplifters, however, only account for about 36 percent of merchandise stolen during the holiday, researchers say. They say 44 percent of thefts are blamed on store employees and the remainder on vendors and clerical errors.
Which brings us back to the original question: Ever wonder how that gift you’re about to open made it under the tree in the first place? Hmmm.