The Shoplifting Master List
This list focuses on establishments in the USA.
Adidas: Difficult to shoplift from. Cameras aren't usually monitored, but staff are dedicated and can make commission. They are usually inclined to try to stop theft. Tagging is frequent and efficient at Adidas stores.
Aeropostale: (going out of business) Cameras are few and far between. Cameras are never actively monitored, and most exist only to stop ORC/internal theft. Aero doesn't chase, and doesn't prosecute. Their staff has little LP training, and has no employees dedicated to LP. Staff usually don't count dressing room items, and don't do much about even obvious lifting (other than calling mall security). Very easy.
Abercrombie & Fitch: Cameras aren't actively monitored. Only LP is regular staff, but usually only store managers call police or mall security. Staff sometimes counts fitting room items. A&F has a strict policy not to chase lifters, but they will call police or mall security. Often times they won't press charges and will just ask for merchandise to be returned. Fairly easy.
American Eagle: Won't chase, and cameras aren't actively monitored. Staff usually count fitting room items, and fitting rooms are locked until you request one. They will prosecute if caught, but the only LP measures they take are calling police or mall security. Fairly easy.
Armani: Has a small staff-customer ratio, and lifting is almost impossible. Cameras are actively monitored, and staff follows customers around almost ubiquitously (just so they don't have to search for a salesperson when they have a question or need help with something). Near impossible.
Banana Republic: Hardest of all the GAP Inc. stores. Has staff who is generally dedicated, and who will usually monitor cameras. Tagging is frequent so be careful and only conceal in dressing rooms. Will often chase, prosecute, and ban. They usually call police and mall security.
Barnes & Noble: Uses RFID tags on products over $40, all electronics, most manga, and most hardcover books. Cameras are not actively monitored, but will be checked after a theft has occurred. Store managers are the only ones who have the authority to call police. Store managers are the only staff who can trail shoplifters, but they will give aggressive customer service if they suspect you. They won't chase you, and will simply call to you from the door and ask you to come back inside. If you refuse, they will try to get your license plate number. Gifts, journals, trinkets, moleskines, paper blanks, and art supplies are never tagged. If you're being followed, staff will back off every few minutes to allow you to dump the merchandise. Try to conceal in the kids section, as there are no cameras usually. Very easy store, but not for beginners.
Bath & Body Works: No LP, and cameras aren't actively monitored. The stores are small and have many employees mostly concentrated at the counters except for a greeter who helps customers with questions. They don't prosecute, but they call mall security and will let them determine if police will be called. This is a store only good for small lifts, and then leaving quickly.
Bed, Bath, and Beyond: Stores vary. While cameras are usually monitored, and LP exists regionally, tall shelves and big displays make concealment much easier. Will chase, prosecute, and ban.
Best Buy: One of the most dangerous stores for a shoplifter. Has actively monitored PTZ cameras, and a stationary guard at all exits who monitors cameras and checks all receipts. They will call police immediately and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Staff can follow you into the restroom. Almost impossible.
Bloomingdales: Actively monitored PTZ cameras. Staffed with a team of LP professionals, and most staff has basic LP training. They will chase, prosecute, fine, and ban. Quite hard.
Books-a-million: They have very good cameras, but they aren't actively monitored, and they usually don't record. Employees are few and far between, and at some locations, the door alarms are fake. Most books aren't tagged, regardless of price. BAM usually has expensive autographed copies of books that can be resold at a larger profit. (This is my personal favorite store).
Burlington Coat Factory: Cameras are usually actively monitored. Won't usually chase, but there are no specific policies. Will always call police, and will usually ban or ask you to leave even if you pass the POS with unpaid merchandise.
Carson's: Cameras are actively monitored. LP rotate regionally, but have been cut back since the sale of Carson's to the Proffitt Holding Group. Most stores outside of Illinois don't tag many items, except for designer handbags and other items over a couple hundred bucks. Staff will call police even if someone is thought to be concealing merchandise. Fairly difficult.
Chanel: Staff is very dedicated and classy. One employee is always looking at cameras. While it is one of the easier designer stores, it is still extremely risky. Your best bet is a grab and run.
COACH: Same as Armani.
Costco: Receipt-checkers make theft hard. If they see you stealing they will call police and prosecute. As it is a membership-only store, they have all of your information in the central computer system. Don't lift from Costco.
CVS: Cameras are usually non actively monitored. LP rotates regionally, usually working two, 8-hour shifts per week at specific stores (especially when large thefts are discovered). CVS is usually bad a tagging merchandise that Corporate would want tagged. Regular staff won't chase, but LP can confront you in store, but they will only try to get your license plate. Medium range difficulty.
Dick's Sporting Goods: While they employee LP and actively monitor cameras in most locations, LP is poor and there are may easy blind spots to conceal in. Only security is concentrated near the firearms section (for "safety reasons"). LP usually won't chase, but they sometimes break company policy. Police will almost always be called once a lifter leaves the store. Medium difficulty.
Dillard's: Cameras are monitored actively, and a few LP are usually working. They don't typically employ plainclothes AP/LP, but treat all customers as potential LP. Dillard's will chase, ban, and prosecute. When a large lift is attempted, LP will not hesitate to physically detain lifters.
Dollar General: No LP, and staff is usually older. Strict no chase policies are in place, and cameras are not actively monitored. Easy.
Dollar Tree: Oftentimes, the cameras are fake. Few employees are usually in store. DT doesn't want to waste money on security or LP because their products are cheap. Basically a free-for-all. Beginner-level store.
Family Dollar: Sometimes they don't even have cameras. At most they will have four employees in the store, but they usually only have one or two. Extremely easy as long as you watch over your shoulders.
Five and Below: Among the easiest stores. Staff mostly remain at the counter unless they are stocking items. They will call police after a lifter has left the store. Cameras are few if any, and aren't actively monitored. Five and Below only really cares about ORC and internal theft, but employs no LP. Staff don't care to stop obvious lifters, and will usually just attempt to get a license plate number, or picture of them.
Finish Line/Footlocker: Both don't monitor cameras except ones in the back (to prevent ORC). Staff won't chase, but they will ban, prosecute, and try to get a license plate number or picture of the suspect. LP is regional, and is usually called in after thefts.
Food Lion: Generally an easy store. At matt locations, the check-out lanes "block" the exits which makes the possibility of being spotted greater. Cameras tend to be monitored (especially when big shipments are coming in). LP is nonexistent, and it is up to managers to stop you. Food Lion will ban, and sometimes prosecute. Police are almost always called.
Gamestop: Usually they only have one or two non monitored, non-recording cameras. Employee(s) will usually remain at the counter or on the sales floor, so theft or concealment is difficult. Higher end electronics are kept in locked cabinets. Efforts to lift from Gamestop are usually futile.
GAP: Easier than Banana Republic. Cameras are usually not monitored, but are well placed. Cashier desk is far from the main door. Door alarms are ubiquitous in use. LP situation unknown. Be cautious and don't conceal on the floor unless the item is small.
GNC: Won't chase. No LP. Doesn't actively monitor cameras (cameras are very few). Regional managers are usually concerned with and tasked with tackling internal theft. Employees will at most try to get a license plate, and they may ban you if they see you conceal in store.
Gucci: Good LP and PTZ cameras. They won't hesitate to tackle you and do anything to retrieve merchandise.
H&M: Frequently uses plainclothes in US stores. Cameras are sometimes actively monitored. LP at H&M is fairly good for a small store. Will usually call mall security if they think someone is stealing.
Hobby Lobby: Fairly easy, but still the hardest craft store. They do employ limited LP who will try to apprehend shoplifters once they pass the POS. Often they will ask for the merchandise back and just ban you. Police are called if any employee or customer is physically injured or if threats are made. In that case, they will prosecute.
Hollister: Cameras aren't monitored, and there is no LP. Many stores have door alarms as a deterrent, because they are too far away to be seen or possibly heard at the cashier desk. Hollister will call mall security. They won't chase, but they will ask for merchandise back or issue a Civil Demand, and they will ban permanently.
Home Depot: While they actively monitor cameras and employ LP, Home Depot LP is usually ineffective at stopping small theft because they have such a large store to cover, which has extremely expensive items spread throughout.
Hot Topic: Difficulty of HT stores varies wildly. Most don't have cameras, but some have one near the front desk. In either case, the cameras aren't monitored unless a robbery or major theft has occurred. There is no LP, but regional managers can be called in if a large theft has occurred. Staff shouldn't chase you, but store managers have been known to break this policy in an attempt to get pictures or license plate numbers. They will usually call mall security, but not police. Staff usually follow and pester suspected lifters, and they will pretend to straighten displays new you. Their main technique is to offer you something that matches what they think you've concealed (this is to intimidate you into dumping the merchandise). Be careful.
Jo-Ann Fabrics: Very easy store. Many displays near the store entrance make it easy to conceal and leave quickly. There is no LP, but if they see you conceal, they will customer service you to death. Police might be called. Managers can try to call you back into the store, but won't chase further than the sidewalk. Signs stating "Shoplifters will be prosecuted" are deterrents that make up for a lack of LP or security monitoring. Cameras around these signs are fake, and all Jo-Ann cameras have a blindspot within a 5 feet cone of the camera.
JC Penny: Lax LP as far as most department stores go. LP is employed and they actively monitor cameras. Plainclothes are used in high shrink stores.
King Super's: Extremely good LP, who ESPECIALLY HEAVILY monitor the alcohol. Cameras are always actively monitored. KS LP will go to extreme lengths to apprehend lifters. Police are always called after concealment, or in the event of assault of a staff member.
K-Mart: Surprisingly decent LP who sometimes actively monitor cameras. Cameras don't always record. They will always chase you, but won't get physical unless you touch them or try to flee.
Kohl's: Not too hard to lift from if you conceal in the dressing rooms and leave quickly. Plainclothes are common, and LP is good at making fitting room stops. Never try to return stolen goods to Kohl's, because they try to flag the serial numbers of stolen merchandise. LP will enter the fitting room cubicle next to a suspected lifter, and will listen for any suspicious noises. Door alarms are very sensitive, so be careful. Company policy encourages LP not to make stops based ONLY on a door alarm being triggered. Issues large Civil Demands, and will report these to collection agencies. Kohl's, however, cannot enforce a Civil Demand.
Kroger: Decent LP, who often pose as shelf stockers, and will trail people who conceal merchandise. Kroger tends to case-build on known lifters. Cameras are monitored most of the time, but are sometimes turned off around closing time.One of the harder grocery stores.
Lord and Taylor: Employees are encouraged to chase and are given incentives for preventing shoplifting. L&T usually will issue a large civil demand and f**k up your credit score in the process, but they will prosecute if it is an exceptionally large theft, or if people are hurt or threatened. Be cautious.
Lowes: Similar to Home Depot, but with less LP. Cameras are usually monitored, especially over the board cutting and cord cutting areas. This is to protect them from lawsuits if someone injures themselves.
Lush: Lush is usually busy which can be either a help or a hindrance to lifters. There are no tags or door alarms, and the front desk is often far ways from the door. There is usually one or two chasers and at least one employee giving demonstrations on the sales floor. I'm not sure about the camera situation, but I know if caught they will ban you, but won't usually even try to get the products back because the bath bombs and such probably can't be resold after having left the store. (information requested by /u/slkondak)
Macy's: Quite hard. Often has large teams of LP in store ranging in size from two to as many as ten. Company policy demands that LP follow the 5 steps to make an apprehension. Cameras are fairly good, and are always being monitored. Head LP managers have access to store cameras even off duty, and will call police if alarms are triggered after closing time. Always chases (incentives are given to employees), and sometimes they prosecute, and sometimes they issue civil demands - no policy determines which they do.
Martin's (closing): Not to hard. They have considerably less LP and general anti theft measures that Kroger. Cameras are almost always actively monitored because Martin's has large management teams at every store.
Meijers: Will chase. Usually they won't employ dedicated LP, but they will have someone monitoring cameras most of the time.
Mervyns: Dangerous store that will chase, ban, and prosecute. Cameras are always monitored.
Michael's: Beginner level store. At more urban stores, expensive art pencils and markers are locked up, but many stores don't bother. Spray paint is always locked up. Cameras aren't monitored unless to investigate ORC. Employees are located at the framing counter which is near the main offices, so keep that in mind. Blind spots are numerous. Easy as pie.
Michael Kor's: Probably the easiest designer boutique. Staff is very dedicated, and treats customers well. If they think you may be lifting, they won't hesitate to call police and or mall security and stall you until they arrive. Not many bags are usually on display, so theft is noticed extremely quickly. If you must lift from there (they do have BEAUTIFUL bags and wallets) get in and get out.
Nike: Usually strict about theft. Cameras are few, but store managers sometimes monitor them. Tagging is frequent. They might chase, but will try to get a license plate number and will always call police.
Nordstrom: Dangerous, but not impossible. They have dedicated LP, and regular staff get bonuses for reporting shoplifters. They will chase you usually, but will usually have police waiting. Nordstrom case builds for shoplifting, so don't return to the same store planning to lift. Cameras are numerous and are actively monitored. Glass cases containing designer wallets and things are usually able to be opened and only appear locked. Staff won't confront you for opening the case (according to my cousin who has worked there for 9 months). Be careful.
Office Depot/Max: Very very easy. A personal favorite of mine. They almost never monitor cameras. Employees there are worked to death and really don't care. If a door alarm sounds, keep walking. They can't confront you just based on a door alarm beeping. No LP, and management only cares about internal theft. The cleaning supplies aisle is usually the best blindspot. Some items are spider wrapped. Many things have an RFID tag in them such as headphones, and fine writing pens. These tags are always stuck to the inside of the box. It's easy to tell, because the box will have been resealed with scotch tape. Side note: Office Max vastly overprices post-it notes, so please steal those <3
Old Navy: Easiest of all the GAP Inc. Stores. Staff usually doesn't care, and most are not on the sales floor. Dressing rooms are usually messy which makes it easy to conceal. Stealing shoes from Old Navy is easier because there are no shoe boxes. LP exists regionally in urban areas. Cameras are usually actively monitored. Will generally chase, ban, and call police.
Pet-Co: Cameras are usually only located near the front of the store. No LP, and cameras aren't actively monitored. Management only cares about preventing internal theft because pet stores generally have low shrinkage. Employees won't chase, and many won't even call police.
PetSmart: Generally the same as Pet-Co. PetSmart holds a lot of dog training classes, so these are good times to lift. Cameras are sometimes reviewed at the end of the day (per company policy) but this rarely happens, especially in small stores.