Wanderlust by Abby is a small boutique located on Perkins Road.
The owner of the boutique, Abby Bullock, has experienced shoplifting before, but a recent attempt caused her to fight back.
In a cell phone video captured of the altercation, Bullock is seen struggling with the thief to get back her merchandise.
“I got every single thing from her," Bullock said. "It added up to be like $650 worth of stuff, which for big companies isn’t a big deal, but for a small business, it’s huge.”
Bullock felt that she needed to stop the shoplifter to protect her hard work and prevent out-of-pocket losses.
“I started this store from the back of my Forerunner, and it’s just grown, and I’ve put in so much work, so every little piece of this store is literally a part of me,” Bullock said.
Doctor Laura Wiley, assistant department chair of LSU’s Department of Accounting, said that large corporations can lose about one to two percent of inventory without being affected.
Small business owners suffer out of pocket costs for every lost item.
“Even just a small amount of theft, or even damaged goods, a small amount really impacts a small business owner, much so more than the large retailers,” Wiley said.
When small businesses experience even a little amount of theft, the costs of their products rise.
“Theft costs all of us because it increases the owners cost of doing business," Wiley said. "The business owner is going to have to increase their selling price on the remaining goods. The people that get hurt the most from the shoplifting are the rest of us.”
Bullock said that she takes this situation as a learning experience and taught her employees how to handle shoplifters.
The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention estimates that product theft costs businesses $13 billion in losses every year.