French Stores Allow You to Keep Stolen Items if You Can Outrun Security… But There’s a Catch
We’ve all dreamt about going to the store, taking what we want, and running away with the ultimate escape. Well, a French store made this possible by offering anyone the freedom to steal and keep the stolen items under one easy condition.
Come with us as we explore this interesting scenario and whether anyone succeeded in taking the spoils. Read on!
A genius marketing idea
On September 13th, a French store opened its doors to the public with a surprising challenge. It told shoppers to steal what they and if they can outrun the security guard, they can keep the items.
While this seemed like a steal for everyone and probably you reading, there’s a catch because this security guard was no mere cop.
An impossible opponent
As part of the one-day promotion, the French store hired one of the world’s fastest athletes, Méba Mickael Zeze. He stood tall, dressed in a black polo shirt, black, pants, and orange armbands, ready to catch some crooks.
This well-recognized French athlete stood ready like a strategic cheetah waiting to outrun a helpless prey. But how impressive is Méba Mickael Zeze anyway?
Méba Mickael Zeze, an Olympic qualifier
Méba Mickael Zeze is a French sprinter who specializes in the 100 and 200 meters and is recognized as one of the fastest athletes in the world. He earned this title by qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in Paris and winning other events
He participated in and won several medals at international competitions, such as the European Championships and the Mediterranean Games. It’s daff to say that racing non-experienced citizens would be a breeze for Zeze.
Who is this French store with a genius marketing team?
Before revealing whether people in Paris can compete with a world-class sprinter, let’s shed on this French store. The promotional event was hosted by Distance’s Paris boutique, which sells sports shoes, particularly for running.
The store is known for its innovative marketing campaigns like collaborating with world-class sprinters and publishing books about running adventures. They are considered to be a reliable brand offering a curated selection of high-end and niche brands for runners of all levels.
The public couldn't believe it
Imagine a nearby store encouraging you to steal whatever you find valuable and run like the wind; crazy, isn’t it? A lot of people thought the same thing once they encountered the “Rob It To Get It” sign in the boutique.
One participant in the challenges, Laurie Sicot, said in an interview, “I thought it was a joke at first,” before he tried his luck. Did he succeed against the powerhouse that is Méba Mickael Zeze?
Many tried, many failed
The challenge was simple; see what you like, take it, and run like the wind! All that was left was for customers to make their move. Didn’t anyone dare challenge Zeze? Yes, precisely, 74 customers damned the odds and went for the prize.
Unfortunately, over 90% of them were no match for the world-class athlete, Méba Mickael Zeze as he was able to apprehend the culprits in a few quick steps. But there’s more!
The race isn't always for the swift
Over 70 people have tried to get their hands on these beautiful, high-quality shoes by Distance’s Paris boutique, but 74 were no match for Zeze’s years of track and field discipline. However, the story doesn’t end there
Eventually, two quick and lucky participants were able to snag some merch off the shelves, evade the 2024 Olympics qualifier, and escape with the stolen merchandise.
They escaped the speed demon, how?
It’s unlikely that a regular human can outrun an Olympic-level sprinter like Zeze with years of discipline, training, and learning. The best way to explain their victory is fatigue and luck.
Essentially, Zeze has been chasing naughty shoppers all day, and while he’s full of endurance, it gets tiring with time. This fatigue allowed these two shoplifters to get away with the items and secure their loot.
"It felt like playing tag as a kid…"
Chasing down 74 adults can be fun, but tiring as well even for someone with a lot of endurance and training. According to Zeze, “It was a long, long, long day” chasing people around.
Nevertheless, he had fun, the sprinter commented that it reminded him of playing tag as a kid and only needed one-third of his top speed to catch these culprits
In the end, everyone left happy
Ultimately, the marketing effort was successful as they created so much buzz with people online and offline talking about the engaging event. Even Distance founder, Guillaume Pontier, thanked the community for testing their pace against one of the world’s best runners.
He also said “We are also glad that Zeze was fast enough to prevent the operation from turning into a financial nightmare. Thank you.” In the end, Zeze had fun, participants had a good laugh, and the boutique gained more visibility.
Videos of this event went viral as millions of people found the challenge fun and intriguing. They also praised Distance for the original and entertaining marketing stunt, but other naysayers complained that they encouraged theft and disrespecting the law.
Nevertheless, everyone left happy. What a crazy promotion. Share your thoughts on whether you can outrun a world-class sprinter for some free items. Let us know in the comments below!