Retailers stop complaining about shoplifting, for reasons

For the last few years, retailers have "howled" about shoplifting as the cause of their problems, but have suddenly backed off. What changed?

Retailers cite a few things: Federal and state lawmakers have drafted new crime bills, and some have become law. Many stores have scaled back self-checkout options and locked away more products behind glass doors; their security investments are starting to bear fruit.

But one thing remains the same: Crime data has yet to indicate a nationwide epidemic of theft, leaving us only to guess at the true scale of the problem — then and now.

I like how we go from "lawmakers drafted new crime bills" and all that other bullshit to "crime data has yet to indicate a nationwide epidemic of theft" and finally to "we're just guessing." Cheap AI being able to maintain a train of thought across paragraphs sure is a threat when paid humans can't do it over sentences.

Anyway, the reason shoplifting stories had to stop is because shareholders need to know why they're eating shit every quarter, and all those lawyers don't want to hear "oh no no no, that was just what our PR agency brainstormed with cops" as a prelude to the complicated and difficult truth. Retailers have admitted they cooked the numbers.