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    Best Buy and Home Depot Forced to Take Drastic In-Store Measures to ‘Stop the Bleeding’ Caused by Crime Surge

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    Big box retailers are responding to rises in product theft with fewer items on the shelf and more put under lock and key as the busiest shopping time of the year, the holiday shopping season, approaches, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

    The article cited a Best Buy store in a suburb of Houston as an example of this phenomena, with “hundreds of items” kept out of reach of customers and aisle signs in place of the products that had previously been protected by anti-theft methods like plastic product cases or security wire wraps.

    The updated signage advise clients that “This product kept in secured location” and point them in the direction of an employee who can help them.

    “There used to be a lot more on the floor itself than locked up in cages,” according to Gary Pearce, a frequent Best Buy customer.

    A significant increase in stealing and the “emergence of coordinated and organized robberies at high-value stores,” were also covered by CNN in January.

    As seen in a May compilation video from The Daily Caller that notably featured instances at Best Buy outlets, news articles and social media have extensively covered the trend.

    During a call with investors in November, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry stated that the Minnesota-based company had experienced a significant increase in theft at its stores, some of which involved criminals armed with a rifle or a crowbar.

    According to Chain Store Age, “This is traumatizing for our associates and is unacceptable. We are doing everything we can to try to create … as safe as possible environments.”

    Barry claimed that her business was using a number of strategies in stores to lower stealing and safeguard clients and staff. These included securing extra merchandise and, when necessary, employing store security.

    A similar response has been given by The Home Depot.

    “It’s a triage-type scenario. It’s stop the bleeding and give yourself some time,” Scott Glenn, the retailer’s vice president of asset protection, advised the Wall Street Journal.

    According to Glenn, theft attempts at Home Depot locations have increased, causing more things to be placed out of consumers’ reach.

    He claimed that customers don’t like it when products are locked up, thus the business attempts to avoid that.

    Glenn, however, noted that after a high-theft item is secured, sales often increase rather than decrease since the shop is able to stock the item more reliably.

    Simply simply, he said, loss from theft has decreased at shops where Home Depot has installed theft deterrents.

    More on this story via The Western Journal:

    Damien Harmon, executive vice president of omnichannel for Best Buy, told the Wall Street Journal that once an item is placed in lockup, the company monitors the sales trends — and it typically doesn’t receive many comments regarding the change.

    He said store inventories are being managed differently than they have been in the past, with fewer products on the floor in part because more purchases occur online. CONTINUE READING…

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