Shame and Shoplifting at Wal-Mart

An Alabama judge's unusual efforts to discourage store theft highlight the retail giant's struggle with "shrinkage"

Earlier this year, Lisa King Fithian entered the self-checkout lane at the Wal-Mart store in her hometown of Attalla, Ala., with a lava lamp and a pet playpen. According to court documents, she then failed to scan the two items, worth $26.97, to add them to her bill and tried to leave the store. Fithian, 46, later pleaded guilty to theft in court, although she maintained the entire incident was a misunderstanding.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.