Retail Crime 101: How Kardashian’s Shoplifting Story Perpetuates Harmful Ideas

In a recent interview with popular online news source Bustle, Kim Kardashian told a light-hearted tale surrounding her run-ins with crime as a youngster. The reality star revealed that she stole a pair of Dior sunglasses with her sister Khloe as a teenager, a pair which she still owns to this day.

The sunglasses for this brand run anywhere from $90 to $200 on average. According to Barbara C. Staib, the director of communications for the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), this means that the company would have to sell several pairs to recoup the loss. Shoplifting more than $100 worth of merchandise is considered a misdemeanor crime in Hawaii, the state in which the incidence took place.

“We were in Hawaii and there was this Christian Dior store and no one [was working] there. Like, it was [in] the wild… just an empty store. Khloe reallywanted the Dior sunglasses, so she took them and we walked out,” she laughed during the interview.

Even though security guards often make upward of $30,000 per year, the store was empty on the day of the theft. After all, this was d

“That was so funny. We were like, ‘This is wild.’ I think the [employee] must have gone to the bathroom or been in the back by herself on a Sunday. I don’t know what the story was, but it was really funny,” Kardashian finished.

However, what seems like a light-hearted tale is actually quite harmful to her fans. Because Kardashian was not regretful over this act of theft in her younger years, it only perpetuates the idea that shoplifting is not a big deal. But many don’t realize the ramifications of such crimes. In fact, many employees have to pay for missing merchandise out of pocket.

This instance is made even worse given the context of the interview. Kardashian told the story as she was promoting her upcoming sunglasses line. But it isn’t likely that Kardashian would laugh if she was the one being robbed.

Research performed by NASP notes that $13 billion worth of goods is shoplifted from stores every year, boiling down to a loss of $35 million each day.

To try to dissuade theft from the start, many employers have begun implementing heightened security measures, including hiring security guards and using RFID tags. In fact, it’s estimated that 96% of retailers use these radio frequency tags on their apparel to track and organize their products.

Unfortunately, the problem of theft still persists. And when these losses continue to occur, the retailers will need to adjust for these cost deficits in different ways. This includes jacking up already high-priced items or even firing employees.

When thefts occur, everyone loses.

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