Yes you need a lawyer, especially since there is a chance that a lawyer can help get your case dismissed and your arrest record "restricted" from public view.
Hire an attorney in order to negotiate a deal in which the conviction does not enter if you pay a fine, court costs, UPS hours, a theft class, etc.
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice. Mr. Leroi answers questions on Avvo because he strongly believes in public service from his years as a judge, magistrate, and prosecutor. If you need to ask any follow up questions because my answer did not fully address your question, feel free to call Chris or post an additional question. Thank you.
A lawyer can likely get this case dismissed so, yes, you need one. Most lawyers, like myself, will give you a free consultation. Consult with and hire a lawyer immediately.
Yes, having a lawyer with you can make things go much more smoothly, and will greatly improve your chances of getting this taken care of in a way that keeps it off of your record and prevents your employer from finding out and terminating you.
Yes, regardless of the amount of the items in question, get an experience attorney to guide you through the legal process. While the penalties for first time convictions may not be as severe as someone who has multiple arrests, there are other issues here, shoplifting and working for a retail outlet does not mesh and your employer or future employers will likely not employ you if they fear for the safety of their products. This will go on your record as an arrest and possibly a conviction. But, an attorney may be able to work some sort of pre-trial intervention, that will not only save you the pain and embarrassment, could also pave the way to getting this charge expunged from your record.