Costco’s only Manhattan store not immune from shoplifting epidemic — the 7 most stolen items revealed

It’s a sticky-fingered situation.

Manhattan’s only Costco may have a shoplifting problem, it’s been revealed, months after rampant theft allegedly drove the Target next door to close — and even after the company has bragged that their closed-door policy has helped them to steer around the recent retail crime epidemic.

The lone location of the big box retailer on the island — located inside the East River Shopping Plaza at E. 117th St. and the FDR Drive — is said to lose an alarming amount of money due to theft, as people supposedly walk out of the membership-only warehouse store with some surprising steals, a recent Reddit thread claimed,


Costco prides itself on being able to avoid the worst of the retail theft epidemic, but some were flabbergasted by the amount of loss, or shrinkage, said to be occurring at the lone Manhattan location of the big box chain.
Costco prides itself on being able to avoid the worst of the retail theft epidemic, but some were flabbergasted by the amount of loss, or shrinkage, said to be occurring at the lone Manhattan location of the big box chain. Getty Images

A photo posted to the popular chat site — purported to have been taken in an employees-only area inside the store — showed a display on a bulletin board that seems to detail just how much the store has lost from its most stolen items during the previous financial year.

The shrink — a retail industry term used to describe merchandise that is stolen or lost — apparently amounted to tens of thousands of dollars in losses.

Top of the loss list for the East Harlem bulk buyer, according to the photo, was a cordless Dyson vacuum cleaner amounting to -$6,210 for the company. Packs of Gillette men’s razors were the next most costly item — ringing in at -$6,189.

And while fitting them down the front of your shirt would prove to be a challenge for most, multi-packs of Costco’s Kirkland brand premium paper towels have somehow been walking out the door to the tune of -$5,021.

Batteries and vitamins also seemed to be very popular with the snatch-and-run set.


Bulletin board displaying pictures of most stolen items in a store
An employee is said to have snapped the photo, later using it as a convesation piece. drummer414/Reddit

AA batteries amounted to -$3,527 and AAA battered totaled -$2,916 on the board, while Centrum women’s pills came in at -$3,407 and Nature’s Bounty D3 supplements amounted to -$1,694.

Commenters were baffled by the high rate of theft — noting that the wholesaler requires people to have membership to enter, and employs people for the sole purpose of checking receipts on the way out the door.

In perspective, the tens of thousands that the Uptown location reportedly got taken for represents the tiniest sliver when compared to the national theft-ademic.

Major U.S. retailers collectively lost $112 billion due to shrink in 2022 — more than double an already-climbing $50.6 billion in 2018 — according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), which counts both employee theft and shoplifting when crunching the numbers.

Experts say the issue has only worsened since.

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