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


From WWW.WESTERNJOURNAL.COM

With the peak gift-giving season of the year just around the corner, big box retailers are responding to increases in product theft with fewer items on the shelf and more stored under lock and key, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

A Best Buy store in suburban Houston served as an example of this phenomenon with “hundreds of items” stored away from customers’ hands and signage in the aisles replacing the products, which were previously secured through anti-theft devices such as plastic product cases or security wire wraps, the report said.

The new signs inform customers, “This product kept in secured location,” and direct shoppers to locate an employee to assist them.

Gary Pearce, a frequent Best Buy shopper, told the Wall Street Journal, “There used to be a lot more on the floor itself than locked up in cages.”

In January, CNN reported on a major spike in shoplifting and the “emergence of coordinated and organized robberies at high-value stores.”

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News reports and social media have reported widely on the trend as highlighted in a May compilation video from The Daily Caller that prominently featured incidents at Best Buy locations.

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said during a call with analysts in November that the Minnesota-based retailer had seen a large jump in theft at its stores, with some involving assailants armed with a gun or a crowbar.

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

Barry said her company was implementing several tactics in stores to reduce shoplifting and protect customers and employees. Those included locking up additional products and hiring in-store security where appropriate.

The Home Depot has responded in a similar way…. (Read more)

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