Richard Mulhearn, 70, and 72-year-old James Adams raided MK Co newsagents, on Byres Road, in October last year. Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how Mulhearn distracted the shop assistant by asking her about light bulbs while Adams made off with the goods. Sentence on both men was deferred for reports and they were released on bail.
Mulhearn and Adams, both from the city's Maryhill area, admitted stealing cash, stamps, mobile phone top-up cards and power cards on 16 October.
Prosecutor Mark Allan told the court that the 57-year-old shop assistant was working on her own at about 1300 BST when Mulhearn came into the shop.
He said: "Richard Mulhearn entered the shop and asked the shop assistant for help in purchasing light bulbs.
"The light bulbs were at the rear of the shop while the till area was at the front of the shop next to the entrance and she was distracted away from it.
"What was happening was the removal of goods from that area, goods amounting to several thousands of pounds."
The shop assistant later alerted the police after noticing that goods were missing.
The court heard that police later recovered £700 in cash from underneath a cushion in Mulhearn's living room as well as a mobile top-up card.
Adams was apprehended after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Sheriff Linda Ruxton told the men that a jail sentence was "utmost" in her mind.