Some U.S. stores have recorded a holiday-season rise in 'shopdropping’. Shopdrop means to covertly place merchandise on display in a store. Primarily used in tactical media projects and art installations.
The practice, also known as reverse-shoplifting, is sometimes used to convey a religious or political message -- such as religious flyers inserted into gay and lesbian publications and anti-consumerist dolls planted on shelves -- and other times can be used as a means of promotion, The New York Times reports.
Jason Brody, lead singer for independent pop-punk band The Death of Jason Brody, said his band has spent the holiday shopping season putting stickers for big-name designers, including Diesel, John Varvatos and 7 for All Mankind, on their CDs and hiding them in the pockets of jeans or on counters at major retailers, UPI reports.
"Bloomingdale's and 7 for All Mankind present the Death of Jason Brody, our pick for New York band to watch in 2008," read a sticker on a CD placed on a Bloomingdale's counter. "As thanks for trying us on, we're giving you this special holiday gift."
According to SHODROPPING.NET, "shopdropping is a project in which people, for example, alter the packaging of canned goods and then shopdrop the items back onto grocery store shelves. They replace the packaging with labels created using their own photographs. The shopdropped works act as a series of art objects that people can purchase from the grocery store. Because the barcodes and price tags are left intact purchasing the cans before they are discovered and removed is possible. In one instance the shopdropped cans were even restocked to a new aisle based on the barcode information.
Shopdropping strives to take back a share of the visual space we encounter on daily basis. Similar to the way street art stakes a claim to public space for self expression, Shopdropping subverts commercial space for artistic use. The photographs act as a visual journal of my travels over the past few years. Displayed in nonlinear combinations the images remix the traditional narrative of the passing of time. The vibrant individuality of each image is a stark contrast to the repetitive, functional, package design that is replaced"