Before you ask, yes I did get my preview copy legally … I think. The Secret World of Shoplifting is a fascinating documentary airing on CBC’s Doc Zone Thursday December 3rd 2009 at 8 P.M. Like any good documentary, this one looks at all aspects of the issue. It may be a bit heavy on statistics at the beginning but that doesn’t last long. It was still a bit surprising to learn 50% of what retailers call shrinkage is due to employees and half of that is due to managers.
The oddest thing about this documentary is one of the experts is a lawyer who used to shoplift and now counsels others. He is good at explaining why people shoplift and why employees give themselves a five-finger discount. This is something we pretty much knew already.
The next expert on The Secret World of Shoplifting is Gerry Biggs, a private detective who goes after boosters aka professionals. Here is where this documentary gets the viewer into unknown territory and the connection to organized crime and the flea market down the street
It also goes into scary territory. The documentary reveals retailers like Walgreens include tiny chips in some high-risk merchandise so it can be traced. This means Biggs can Google map and know you have pills in your home.
The show closes with a look at brief look at mom, pop, and teen five-finger discounters and a comic look at Neg, a guy who invented urban sprinting which is setting off the alarm and running away from the security guard.
The one weakness of The Secret World of Shoplifting is tells an American story involving an American chain in Florida or Illinois. Of course the story is the same over here but, you know.