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The New Age of Retail: Barring Children from Independent Shopping

Author: Magie Grace

Date: March 5, 2024

Store front with text stating no kids allowed

Being a parent comes with the joy of seeing your own flesh and blood grow: witnessing their first steps, watching them walk the stage in cap and gown, buying their first car, and living on their own all matured and grown. All these milestones come with a price tag and can be provided by an assortment of retailers and providers. However, these suppliers have started instituting the rule that “No kids or teenagers in store without parent” (and other variations of the directive).

Many businesses such as the Westfall State Garden observe: “an increase in disruptive behavior that violates the center’s code of conduct by a small minority of younger visitors” (Lange). Photo taken in from of a local Dollar Tree in early 2024 is a neighborhood example of the impact of “disruptive behaviors” in our community. According to the Shoplifting Statistics of 2024, 9.09% of Americans shoplift – every 1-in-4 being aged 12-to-16 years old. The same article states that New York alone has lost 4.04 billion dollars in revenue in 2022 alone. Of all the stealing, the shoplifters are only caught 2.0% of the time.

Huge businesses like the Dollar Tree and local businesses like New Jersey's Westfall State Garden both suffer from the very real possibility that juveniles may steal from their shelves. To act against the thieves taking their goods: they revoke their trust in the younger generation.

Lange, Alexandra, “Teens need malls. Malls need crowds. Why are they pushing kids away,” The Guardian, 5 December 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/dec/05/teens-need-malls-malls-need-crowds-why-are-they-pushing-kids-away

Capital One, Shopping Statistics (2024), Capital One, 24 December 2023, https://capitaloneshopping.com/research/shoplifting-statistics/