Sephora has become the latest store to lock down its products to prevent rising theft rates.
The billion-dollar beauty chain confirmed that all of its fragrances have been removed from store shelves and replaced with testers for customers to try.
If a customer wants to buy a bottle, he must ask the staff to bring it to him.
The store follows in the footsteps of Walgreens, CVS and Target, which are locking down more products following waves of rampant retail crime. Retailers lost nearly $80 billion to shoplifters last year – an increase of nearly $13 billion from the year before – according to figures from the National Retail Foundation (NRF).
Sephora has become the latest store to lock down its products to prevent rising theft rates. Pictured: A Sephora store in Manhattan, New York
A Sephora spokesperson said this CNN: ‘The safety and security of our employees and customers is our top priority.
“To minimize the threat of shoplifting and provide our customers with peace of mind during their experience at Sephora, we have increased the presence of Sephora loss prevention researchers in all stores.
‘Out of an abundance of caution, Sephora is only showing fragrance testers in stores.’
The retailer initially tested the change in its stores in July and August and found that even tester scents were targeted for theft.
Retail crime expert at K2 Integrity, a Chicago-based global risk firm, said CNN: “I didn’t think Sephora would be the next retailer to lock up products due to theft, but I’m not surprised this is happening.”
The NRF warned in September that the sector is facing an ‘unprecedented’ threat from crime and violence.
The report shows that shrink, the total losses suffered by retailers, has increased by $20 billion in a year to an eye-watering $112.2 billion in 2022.
Target, among other things, has been forced to lock down underwear from a brand called Pair of Thieves as it struggles with skyrocketing shoplifting
The underwear was found under lock and key in several stores, including those in New York, Orange County and this Minneapolis branch
And with as much as 70 percent of shrinkage due to theft, that means retailers lost approximately $78.4 billion to shoplifters.
The phenomenon has led companies to increasingly take extreme measures to safeguard their profits.
Earlier this month, it emerged that Target had locked up its underwear at some of its branches, including a White Plains location in New York. Executives warned in May that the company is on track to lose $1.3 billion this year to theft and crime.
Meanwhile, overnight, Walgreens workers began connecting freezers at one of its stores in San Francisco, considered at the heart of the nation’s theft problem.
Employees reported thieves entering the store as many as 20 times a day to fill their bags with items such as frozen pizza and ice cream.
Meanwhile, CVS will close 900 stores by the end of next year. The retailer is cutting 10 percent of its stores as it focuses on online strategy amid rampant rise in thefts.
The trend is no longer driven by teens and adults abusing substances, researchers say.
Nearly two-thirds of retailers surveyed by the NRF said violence associated with leaving stores is led by organized gangs that steal goods and then resell them.
Law enforcement officials blame the increase in penalties for shoplifting.
Retailers lost nearly $80 billion to shoplifters last year – an increase of nearly $13 billion from the year before – according to figures from the National Retail Foundation (NRF)
Laura Cooper, head of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, previously told the newspaper New York Post: ‘Without deterrents and accountability, communities will be victimized and businesses terrorized.’
According to the NRF, the top five locations hardest hit by organized retail crime in 2022 were all Democratic areas.
Los Angeles, CA was hit the hardest, followed by San Francisco and Oakland at number two, Houston, TX, New York City and Seattle, WA.
The report added: ‘While theft has an undeniable impact on retailers’ margins and profitability, retailers are very concerned about the increased levels of violence and the threat of violence associated with theft and crime.’
DailyMail.com contacted Sephora for comment.