It is also worth pointing out that all of the retail stores I have worked in have used other cost cutting measures to avoid expensive security equipment.

Say that the shop in question had six checkouts. It’s a fair bet that at least half of the gates covering these checkouts are fake and don’t actually do anything at all. In both stores only two gates were real, and it was always gate two and four, don't know why.

Although the gate covering the exit is real, the one covering the entrance is not, so leave via the front door. As others have mentioned, many items in the shop tend to set off the alarms. Since I worked in Homebase (a British D.I.Y store) I discovered that most powered garden tools tend to set off the gates due (I think) to the powerful electric motors they use. Obviously carrying a Flymo around with you is a bit awkward, but the motor from an electric strimmer is not bulky, and could be used for fooling the staff.

Another method (tried on me quite often) is to have a trolley full of fiddly little things that don’t cost all that much. The idea is that the tired and underpaid assistant will not bother counting how many you’ve got, and will just ask you instead. You can then attempt to judge how many you can get away with not mentioning - say you have thirty five when you actually have fifty. This also can work if they employ someone to stamp your receipt when you leave, since they won’t be bothered either.

Note: I don’t steal, and don’t recommend anyone to try it… do so at your own risk.