If you don't know that theft is a problem, you almost certainly have never worked retail. Stealing has become such a problem for stores like Dollar General that there are reports they're considering not selling some items at all.

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In the world of retail "shrink" is the word used to describe stolen items. CBS News is reporting that Dollar General and Dollar Tree are considering locking up some of the items shoplifters grab the most or dropping them altogether. The report says the parent company of Dollar General and Dollar Tree experienced "a surprisingly large drop in gross profit margin — tumbling to 29.8% last quarter from 32.7% a year earlier".

Dollar General and Dollar Tree are not alone. The story says Dick's Sporting Goods also had a big chunk taken out of their profits by thieves.

How can stores like Dollar General and Dollar Tree stop shoplifters?

The Motley Fool addressed this topic and drilled it down to 10 key steps stores can take to reduce theft. It mentions employee training and making sure stores are neatly organized to help. One interesting angle they said helps reduce theft is customer service. Interesting. The concept is that an employee that's talking to and trying to help customers makes it less likely a thief will mess with a store. Security cameras and mirrors are also said to be a deterrent.

I would also add that in my experience in these stores many times there was only one employee on duty at the time I was there and that person can't be everywhere at once. Perhaps keeping more employees on duty simultaneously might help?

It's sadly a problem that is likely not going away any time soon if ever. Thieves could make it where less items are available for honest paying customers in the near future.

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