Try to leave shops slowly and nonchalantly to avoid looking like a thief, shoppers advised

People who walk into shops to have a look around, but not actually buy anything, often feel that staff are watching them closely and are secretly thinking they are a shoplifter.  This guilty reflex is particularly prevalent amongst decent, hardworking people, who enjoy browsing shops as a way of experiencing the ‘high’ of looking at random shit they probably can’t afford.

The unfortunate side-effect of this vicarious pastime is that when you reach the door, empty handed, you will feel the sudden urge to squeak an embarrassed ‘thank you’ and rush out.  Most of us will then imagine a heavy hand upon our shoulder, and a demand to see our receipt.  But help is at hand for anxious browsers, thanks to new guidelines published today.

The advice suggests that the best thing to do is to walk slowly towards the door when you are ready to leave.  Thieves don’t hang around after they’ve helped themselves to a five-finger discount, is the rationale behind this advice.  Linger over some of the displays nearest the door, then slowly wander out.  As you are on the doorstep, pretend you’ve seen something just inside the door and go back to look at it briefly.  Then finally walk out, slowly.  Ensure staff can then see you admiring the window display from outside.  An added yawn is a good way of making you look nonthreatening and in no hurry to leave.

Further advice recommends not wearing anything that might make you look a bit ‘ghetto’, not asking to use their toilet whilst trying to conceal a plastic carrier bag in your jacket, or muttering to someone called ‘blud’ on your mobile phone.

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