The original title of the film, Manbiki Kazoku, literally translates as Shoplifting Family.
To research the project, Hirokazu Koreeda toured an orphanage and wrote a scene inspired by a girl there who read from Swimmy by Leo Lionni.
Director Hirokazu Koreeda said that he developed the story for Shoplifters when considering his earlier film Like Father, like Son, with the question "what makes a family"? He had been considering a film exploring this question for years before making Shoplifters. Koreeda described it as his "socially conscious" film. With this story, Koreeda said he did not want the perspective to be from only a few individual characters, but to capture "the family within the society", a "wide point of view" in the vein of his 2004 film Nobody Knows. He set his story in Tokyo and was also influenced by the Japanese Recession, including media reports of how people lived in poverty and of shoplifting. To research the project, Koreeda toured an orphanage and wrote a scene inspired by a girl there who read from Swimmy by Leo Lionni.
After winning the Jury Prize on the Croisette in 2013 for "Like Father, like Son", Koreeda left with the supreme award, the Palme d'Or, for "Shoplifters", five years later.
The film premiered on 13 May 2018 at the Cannes Film Festival, where it went on to win the Palme d'Or. Shoplifters won the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Feature Film, and is nominated for both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.