Procter & Gamble's signature brand Tide has become a hot item among professional shoplifters, who resell the detergent on the black market for quick cash, retailers and law enforcement officers confirm. More than 100 incidents have been reported in Cincinnati, the Enquirer reports. A story on the “grime wave” reported in the electronic publication The Daily reported that the orange, blue, and yellow jugs have become a favorite target of “boosters” who find a ready market to sell the stuff for about half of what it sells for in stores.
“Our retailers are telling us that Tide has been a problem for the last year,” says Read Hayes of the Loss Prevention Research Council, a group of about 70 retailers and manufacturers. The market-leading detergent usually can command a premium price at the checkout counter, up to $20 for a big 150-ounce bottle. Sold under the table, in an alley or a back room, it can go for a mere $5 or $10. Hayes said it's often sold at housing projects or low-income apartments, often by drug addicts. “They're converting the Tide to cash,” he said. Tide is valuable, quickly consumable and easily removable from store shelves, traits that make it attractive to professional thieves who sometimes load up carts and walk out the door to getaway cars.