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snopes
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Comment: There is a rumor circulating that CVS/pharmacy locks up Afro
American cosmetics in their stores, but not European cosmetics. The idea
supposedly is that other races would not steal Afro American cosmetics,
but Afro Americans would.

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queen of the bah-caramels
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Lets face it, cosmetics and other small things are always eligible for the five finger discount.
I am surprised most shops leave them on display.

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Bettie Page Turner
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Our local K-Mart recently put up barriers around the cosmetics section so that anyone going into/out of the area has to pass directly by the jewelry counter.

Of course, sometimes I feel like the one being robbed...we pay so much for 1/2 oz of colored wax or talc! [lol]

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Bill
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There is a CVS right across the street from me at the moment; just out of curiosity I'll take a look later today when I have a chance.

I know that I have seen some of the more pricey items either kept behind the counter or locked onto the rack somehow so you can't take them off without an employee's help (this was the case with the calculator I bought there the other day).

Hope to get back to you on this.

Thanks.

Bill

Update: I checked the CVS. The only items on the shelves that were locked were the electric shavers. None of the cosmetics were locked.

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alicia
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considering that cosmetics are the only things i ever did steal when i was a young teenager, i too am surprised that they are readily available at all. lots of kids steal makeup, it's the easiest thing to steal besides candy.

however, i'd point out that i've never noticed a separate section or even a general separation on the shelves for "afro-american" cosmetics. there is a usually a section of the hair styling products that seems to be devoted to hair products designed for kinky hair, but these items are never locked up at the grocery stores i've been to. we don't actually have "CVS" here, but we do have costco, and we probably have stores owned by whatever company owns CVS. i've never purchased makeup from costco (actually the only makeup i've ever purchased is pressed powder, and i only do that once every few years or so) but i don't recall ever seeing any makeup locked up in the pharmacy.

sounds like bunk to me, made up by some racist who likes to try and prove their idiotic point.

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I'm Dreaming of a White Canvas
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Back in the mid-to-late eighties, a drugstore chain in Atlanta caused an uproar by putting anti-shoplift tags on african-american haircare products. They replied that the tags were placed solely based on theft figures, without regard to what the products were, and denied any racism was involved.

I am so far unable to find a cite or whether the tags were later removed. I'll keep looking.

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Esprise Me
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In my irrelevant, meandering experience, there has never been a separate section for African-American haircare, makeup, or other beauty products in drugstores. Certain brands cater more to what they still, strangely, call "women of color," but they're along the same wall as all the other brand displays. None of my black friends uses beauty products specifically aimed at black people.
White Canvas--do you remember anything about the tagged products being more expensive? Some of those straightening balms are outrageously priced. Maybe that had something to do with it?

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Mr. Furious
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I don't know about cosmetics, but there's a separate "ethnic hair care" section in the local Wal-Mart. It's right next to the "ethnicity-free hair care" section, though, and it's not locked up.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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I just checked a local CVS on my way home from work, and the "African-American" cosmetics are not on lock down. Nor are the other ethnic varieties of makeup.

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qualli
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I've heard a similar UL that stores (like walmart) who seperate their stuff into ethnic/non-ethnic often have better surveilance of the ethnic merchandise, or have it placed where it can be easily looked after.

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ica171
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As a former Wal-Mart employee, I can say that cosmetics for African-American women are not locked up. In my experience, I did notice Loss Protection patrolling cosmetics and the surrounding areas more heavily, as well as electronics and the surrounding areas.

Edited to clarify.

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Astra
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quote:
Originally posted by ica171:
As a former Wal-Mart employee, I can say that cosmetics for African-American women are not locked up. In my experience, I did notice Loss Protection patrolling cosmetics and the surrounding areas more heavily, as well as electronics and the surrounding areas.

Edited to clarify.

Same experience here. Cosmetics were really popular with the teenage shoplifter crowd. They'd get into a corner, stuff their pockets/purses with lipstick or compacts, and then sneak out. When some of that stuff sells for $5-$10 an item, it adds up fast.

I've never seen makeup, aside from perfume, locked up or put behind the counter in a pharmacy or discount stor, only in high-end department stores.

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Latiam
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The drugstore that my sister is at puts the anti theft tags on makeup so that shoplifters remove the packaging before they leave with their stolen goods.
This is because if the packaging is left they get reimbursed by the companies. If they didn't put the tags on they'd have to eat the cost. It's the only reason they get put on. So the next time you're curious because there's a tag on the inside and on the packaging of the item, now you know why. I've seen it on cosmetics, painkillers, and some of the pricier items as well.

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Esprise Me
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Which companies reimburse the stores for the stolen goods--the manufacturers of said goods, or the makers of the anti-theft devices? Do you have a cite for this?

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candycane from strangers
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Since most foundation displays just have the colors in order from lightest to darkest, where would they even make the cutoff? A light skinned Black woman and a very tan White woman could use the same color foundation.

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Latiam
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
Which companies reimburse the stores for the stolen goods--the manufacturers of said goods, or the makers of the anti-theft devices? Do you have a cite for this?

Do I have a cite for this?
Hmm. Well, I was standing there, and my sister said, as she was placing anti-theft stickers on Dr. Scholl's footcare packages, "Do you know why I am doing this?"
I said, "So people won't steal them?"
She said, "No. They'll still steal them, but now they'll leave the package here, and we'll get the money back from the company. If they take it package and all we have to pay."
I don't know whether she meant the company she works for, or Dr. Scholl's in this case. I will find out.
We then got into a discussion about which products got the extra stickers, and cosmetics, pregnancy tests, and a few other things were on the list.
Edited for spelling

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Franny
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Cosmetics = $$$; Ergo, they are more likely to be stolen. I was told by a walgreens manager that Oil of Olay is the most stolen item from their store (no cite or reference for my personal conversation).

FYI - at our grocery store pregnancy tests are also locked up. I asked about it because I thought maybe they were trying to control sales to kids or something. The manager (it was Safeway) said that people steal them, take them to the store bathroom, and use them.

Raced based distinctions sounds UL to me - I think it is more about economics and shrinkage.

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I'm Dreaming of a White Canvas
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:

White Canvas--do you remember anything about the tagged products being more expensive? Some of those straightening balms are outrageously priced. Maybe that had something to do with it? [/QB]

Sorry it took me so long to get back to this thread, but I believe that was a consideration. I remember reading this in the Atlanta Journal, but I can't find a reference to it; their archives contain only "selected" articles. [Mad]

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BelleMorte
Jingle Bell Hock


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I know at one Dollar General store, the Orajel and similar items are locked up. But cosmetics and stuff are out in the open. Half the time, with there being no employees at the front of the store, it would be easy to have a large purse and walk out with half the makeup aisle.

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diehard
Deck the Malls


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I was at CVS just the other day and I don't remember cosmetics being locked however, I went to buy a calculator and they were locked not the 25.00 one but the 7.95 one.(go figure).Eckard also has a full section for hair products for "women of color" but I didn't see any of their products with tags or locked either. [Smile]

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Dareyawes
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During my brief time in loss prevention, I was told that cosmetics are the #1 shoplifted item (particularly those marketed to teens). OTC Medicine was listed as #2. Baby food/clothes #3. I wouldn't have hard figures, but it did seem that way. In spite of the fact that the store I worked was in a heavily minority neighborhood, the solid majority of shoplifters that we caught were white girls 12-16.

Without mountains of undisputable empirical evidence on loss patterns, locking up cosmetics marketed only to a particular ethnicity is a public relations disaster. Even with evidence, it is still a ballsy decision.

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BelleMorte
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I would personally just lock up all cosmetics.

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Every driver, owner and crew chief has a place in our Hall, which won't be moving to Daytona Beach anytime soon. Lone exception? Kyle Petty, who hasn't won a race since 1754.

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diddy
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Okay, not ecatly CVS or Costco, but I work for Target and there are no cosmetic produts locked up (I personally know the overnight and dayside person as well as working in that area). Tagged for the alarm system maybe, but nothing locked up.

Furthermore, all five of our top five (store and company) items for shoplifting are electronics products. It used to be cosmetics products (about 3-4 years ago) but CD's, DVD's and other major electronics are alot easier to grab and walk away with a huge loss.

Again, this isnt the specific store, but I would think that only high dollar cosmetic items would be locked up since it would reure employees to unlock and interact with the person. I cannot imagine this happening with 5 dollar merchandise unless it was very high theft fisk.

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NocturnalGoddess- naughty or nice?
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I've worked at Vicky's and Ulta, and my best friend(s), S. and Et., have worked at Food Lion, Winn Dixie, Eckard, and Happy Harry's. (We've actually had this discussion before... stupid shop-lifters)

None of them lock cosmetics up.

The only exceptions are Ulta, Happy Harry's, and Eckard.

Ulta keeps Strivectin SD behind the cash wrap, due to it's high price.

Happy Harry's and Eckard lock up some of the perfumes. (So does Rite Aid, btw)

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Tzarina
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The drug store near my mom's house keeps all cosmetics locked up. Even the $.99 Wet N Wild stuff. Between the teenagers in the area and the 2 clubs that catered to the younger crowd, they were forever completely out of makeup.

The problem wasn't African Americans, either. It was goth teens. The place never had light colored foundation, black eyeliner or dark lipsticks in stock until they got the locks. And you had to buy everything there at the makeup counter. The girl would stand with you while you picked out what you wanted, then take it to the makeup counter. The customer never got to hold the stuff.

It was a huge pain in the ass, but it was understandable.

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BlushingBride
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I used to work at an Eckerd that is now a CVS. (For the record, it was the absolute worst job I have ever had. But that's another story.) We didn't keep the cosmetics locked up. We did put stickers on them, for exactly the same reason that Latiam mentioned. If the shoplifters pulled something out of the packaging, we could stick the box/wrap in a big box in the back room labelled "Loss/Damage." When the shipment came, the driver would take our Loss/Damage box. The cost of replacing the goods in the Loss/Damage box was not charged to the store. Did the manufacturer or Eckerd corporate pay for it? I don't know. I also don't care. But if they took the packaging with them, the store ate the loss.

(The one I worked at, the absolute worst offenders were the employees. The managers would let them buy whatever they wanted (hair dye, diet pills, make-up, whatever), use a portion, return it for a full refund, and then the managers would toss the remnant into the Loss/Damage box. I thought this was horribly dishonest and refused to play along. After I left, new managers were hired, and the store is now nice, clean, and well-staffed.)

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LongTallBlonde
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Sometimes the cost of preventing the theft is greater than the cost of theft itself. Thats why some stores don't go the the added expense of locking up cosmetics, tagging them with EAS tags or placing the area under video surveilance. Its a percentage thing and as long as the percentage is below the threshold set by the regional/district office no one will be concerned about it. Once the cost of the theft is above the "cut line" then stores are "encouraged" to take measures to bring it down to acceptable levels again. What makes matters even worse is that each branch store has different tresholds of theft and different categories that they track. For some stores it maight be cosmetics for others it might be OTC drugs containing ephedrine.

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LongTallBlonde
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Sometimes the cost of preventing the theft is greater than the cost of theft itself. Thats why some stores don't go the the added expense of locking up cosmetics, tagging them with EAS tags or placing the area under video surveilance. Its a percentage thing and as long as the percentage is below the threshold set by the regional/district office no one will be concerned about it. Once the cost of the theft is above the "cut line" then stores are "encouraged" to take measures to bring it down to acceptable levels again. What makes matters even worse is that each branch store has different tresholds of theft and different categories that they track. For some stores it maight be cosmetics for others it might be OTC drugs containing ephedrine.

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