Lifestyle boutique Kitson on Robertson posts shoplifting 'Wall of Shame'

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Saturday, April 27, 2024
Lifestyle boutique Kitson posts shoplifting 'Wall of Shame'
Lifestyle boutique Kitson is taking on shoplifters in a very public way, and their campaign of shame is getting noticed.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Lifestyle boutique Kitson is taking on shoplifters in a very public way, and their campaign of shame is getting noticed.

Kitson on Robertson Boulevard is having a big sale. It's shame, and it's 100% free.

"Public shaming is kind of hilarious. I've never seen it on this scale before," said Pasadena resident Rob Page.

The Beverly Grove novelty shop has been attracting a lot of attention with its front-of-store blame, flame and shame campaign.

The store has taken to posting the names and faces of people Kitson says stole from them. The store is also doing the same online.

The store shared a video of the wall on Instagram.

"Remember this when you vote. You steal from us we expose you to your friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers," the post said.

"You guys are savage and I love it," said one user in the comments.

"Kitson bringing new meaning to influencer," said another.

The owners say they're taking matters into their own hands after police reports have failed to turn up arrests.

Two years ago Kitson told shoppers they could not wear masks in the store during the pandemic after an uptick in theft. Now, the owners hope these posters will deter shoppers from stealing.

"We caught you and we see you, and even though it's scary it's comedy at the same time," said Thomas Ernst, a Kitson employee.

Other store managers in this neighborhood say retail theft is a growing problem.

Devin Fowler runs TBC, a consignment shop down the street from Kitson.

To cut down on crime, the store now keeps the front door locked during business hours. Customers have to let in individually. The so-called "Wall of Shame" at Kitson gets his endorsement.

"If that's the way to take a spin or mindset on this, that's a great way to do it," Fowler said.

But does public shaming actually work? The store says at least one of the accused individuals returned the stolen goods and apologized. But the public shaming campaign is also about venting frustration.

"We've got cameras everywhere, so it's like, OK, are you willing to put your privacy at risk for a T-shirt? I don't know. It's a surprise to me that people are doing it," Ernst said.

Meantime, the "Wall of Shame" is gaining fame. Word has spread and people are showing up with cameras in-hand.

"I had heard about it so I came down to check it out and this is even more hilarious and spunky than I thought it would be," said West Hollywood resident Nicole Chenoweth.

It's probably not so funny to the accused shoplifters posted on the wall. But as the frustrated like to say: "It's the price you pay for not paying," said L.A. resident Dani Abraham.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story named the Kitson location in Beverly Hills. This has since been corrected.