Thinking Outside the Box: How a Shoe Store Owner Solved the Shoplifting Problem

Published on April 4, 2024

As we’ve all seen for the last year or two, there’s been a lot of shoplifting. A pack of thieves breaking into stores, stealing massive amounts of merchandise, and leaving before the cops come. If they’re caught, they’re back on the streets in a couple of minutes. Shoplifting has gotten to such a high degree of loss for shop owners that many of them simply raise their hands, give up, and close their doors.

But not this store owner outside Fort Worth, Texas. He owns a shoe store. A pack of thieves broke in one day to go into the store room and steal high-end pairs of sneakers. To their shock and dismay, working really quickly to avoid the cops, they realized that each shoe box only contained the left shoe. The right shoe was stored somewhere else for security. They left with nothing.

This store owner did not decide to give in, put up his hands, and said: “I give up.” He decided to look at the problem from a different angle.

Here are some tips on how you can do that.

Number one, start asking different questions. The answers you have are not helping you. So, if what you’re doing is not working, do something different. Ask different questions, like: “Is the end result that you’re looking for realistic? What has to happen to eliminate the problem?” For example, not having a complete pair of shoes would eliminate the shoplifting problem as the theft would become worthless. Things like that start changing up your thinking, if you will.

Number two, look at it from a different angle. Different angles lead to different pictures.

Finally, number three, remove the frustration from your previous failures. If your mind is clogged with those frustrations, you will not think clearly, and your creativity will be hindered.

Remember this: when things don’t go right, before leaders blame anybody else or anything else, they ask themselves this one question: “What could I do differently next time?”

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