An athleticwear store in Paris, France, is going viral for challenging customers to steal merchandise without any repercussions — if they can outrun an Olympian sprinter working the door.
Distance Athletics in Paris hired French Olympian Méba Mickael Zeze as a security guard in September as a part of its “ROB IT TO GET IT” campaign, where an estimated 74 customers attempted to sprint out of the store with a pair of sneakers.
Two shoplifters were successful.
“We lost two items, but I think the value of the campaign is really big,” store manager Lionel Jagorel told The Washington Post.
The store released a video of the event that quickly went viral on YouTube, receiving over 29,000 views — and praise from shoppers and viewers.
“This is the greatest ad for athletic wear I’ve ever seen and one of the best overall,” one person said. “Kudos.”
Zeze is world-ranked and ran a 100-meter dash in under 10 seconds and a 200-meter dash in under 20. He’s currently training for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
“It was a long, long, long day,” Zeze joked of filming the campaign for the store.
The timing of the campaign comes amid mass shoplifting and robbery incidents in stores in the U.S.
In August, two “flash mob” robberies hit malls in the Los Angeles area as coordinated attacks on luxury stores.