Recently Civil Rights leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton have complained that stores like Macys and Barneys are guilty of “Shop and Frisk” by profiling Black or other minorities. Several Black shoppers were handcuffed and detained in security rooms because the store security or NYPD viewed their credit card purchases as suspicious.
This has been going on for 30 years or more as store security, cashiers, and the police tend to pay more attention or stop and check the bags of those individuals who look like the people who they arrest every day in thier stores. They follow and profile not just minorities, but also young people, people with large shopping bags, women with large open purses, and people who look “poor or homeless”.
The stores lose millions of dollars of merchandise every year to credit card fraud, shoplifters, employee theft, and have to pay for video surveillance cameras, store security officers, and court appearances. Credit card fraud and identity theft have become a huge peoblem for banks, credit card companies, stores, and insurance companies. We all pay for these crimes by the increase in the cost of goods, services, and interest rates.
Stores and credit card companies would argue that they are targeting “suspicious behavior” not just Blacks and that it is the only way to try to limit the loss of mechandise that they suffer every day. The cost of all this theft and added security actually gets passed on to the comsumers who must pay about 15%-20% more for certain items due to the loss of profits by every major retailer. The most commonly stolen items are jewelry, electronic items, cigarettes, medicines, perfume, and any small items that are high ticket merchandice that can be easily resold like razor blades.