Everyone is being swept up by the Black Friday craze this year; stores like Target and Walmart are boasting of strong sales numbers as we head into the weekend. While the huge discounts and masses of people are hallmarks of this retail “holiday”, thievery is something that it has become infamous for in recent years as well. Consumers should stay vigilant when it comes to keeping themselves and their newly acquired items safe.
In a report from Fortune.com, insurance company Travelers said that thefts are, on average, 2% higher on Black Friday than any other day of the year, and for good reason. Many consumers will be storing bought items in their vehicles and jumping back into the fray to see what other deals they can find; this is optimal for thieves who will be prowling parking lots in search of valuables.
Consumers are not safe when they leave the mall though. When Travelers broke down all claims made on Black Friday, they found that thefts were 28% higher than any other day of the year when they included ones made off-premise (not at the mall or retail store). “On Black Friday, thieves are just much more focused on the opportunity than on a regular basis,” said Patrick Gee, senior vice president at Travelers.
Take away the opportunity to steal
Thieves are not too picky about which items they can get their hands on, but statistics show that there are some trends associated with items stolen. On average, clothing and apparel are 40% more likely to be stolen than other items and toys are three times more likely to be stolen. Despite the huge surge in sales on Black Friday, electronic items are no more likely to be stolen on this day than any other day of the year.
Consumers can take several different steps to make sure that their goods are safe while they shop. If you insist on keeping items in your car while you go back to shop, make sure everything is covered or out of sight when they're in your car; thieves who see an item they want will be much more likely to take it if given the opportunity.
Taking away the opportunity to steal is probably your best bet, though. After checking out, bring your items straight home so that they're safe. You can also remove yourself from the equation altogether by hunting for deals online.