Enjoyed this piece in the New York Times: Anarchists in the Aisles? Stores Provide a Stage:
Otherwise known as reverse shoplifting, shopdropping involves surreptitiously putting things in stores, rather than illegally taking them out, and the motivations vary…
An artist who lives in Oakland, Calif., [Packard Jennings] said that for the last seven months he had been working on a new batch of his Anarchist action figure that he began shopdropping this week at Target and Wal-Mart stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.
â€œWhen better than Christmas to make a point about hyper-consumerism?â€ asked Mr. Jennings, 37, whose action figure comes with tiny accessories including a gas mask, bolt cutter, and two Molotov cocktails, and looks convincingly like any other doll on most toy-store shelves. Putting it in stores and filming people as they try to buy it as they interact with store clerks, Mr. Jennings said he hoped to show that even radical ideology gets commercialized. He said for safety reasons he retrieves the figures before customers take them home.
Jason Brody, lead singer for an independent pop-rock band in the East Village, said his group recently altered its shopdropping tactics to cater to the holiday rush.
Normally the band, the Death of Jason Brody, slips promotional CD singles between the pages of The Village Voice newspaper and into the racks at large music stores. But lately, band members have been slipping into department stores and putting stickers with logos for trendy designers like Diesel, John Varvatos and 7 for All Mankind on their CDs, which they then slip into the pockets of designer jeans or place on counters.
â€œBloomingdaleâ€™s and 7 for All Mankind present the Death of Jason Brody, our pick for New York band to watch in 2008,â€ read a sticker on one of the CDs placed near a register at Bloomingdales. â€œAs thanks for trying us on, weâ€™re giving you this special holiday gift.â€ Bloomingdales and 7 for All Mankind declined to comment.
Health care is usually a few years behind the retail economy, but I have to wonder what this trend will mean for hospitals and doctors’ offices at some point.