Best Buy has seen a sharp rise in the number of retail thefts in the recent past. According to chief executive officer Corie Barry, there has been a considerable jump in organized crime with people coming in groups to steal consumer electronics. She said that it has become a trend these days and this is getting really scary for employees. Mainly because these loosely organized groups sometimes bring weapons such as a gun or a crowbar. This is not only hurting the profit of Best Buy but the company is also finding it difficult to retain employees. This is happening at a time when the retail industry is facing a shortage of labor. “When we talk about why so many people are looking for other jobs, this of course is something that plays an important role. Even for us, the safety of humans is the first priority,” she said.
To deal with this, Barry said that the company is hiring security guards at some locations. Also, they are now locking certain merchandise and discussing the issue with retail trade groups to find out some solution for this. According to Barry, some parts of California and San Francisco have been the ‘hot spots for such incidents. However, she said that there are certain problematic pockets across the country. Barry said that there are some stores in Nordstrom that were recently targeted by groups of looters. In some cases, the number of people goes up to over a dozen while in other cases it’s just a couple of them. They are usually involved in the ‘smash-and-grab robberies.
Barry said that the safety of customers and employees is the first priority of the company even if this means that criminals will walk away with thousands of dollars of merchandise. “These are very traumatic experiences. The worst part is that such incidents have increased across the country,” she was quoted as saying in a report. Best Buy is not the only retailer that is facing this problem. CVS Health, Kroger, and Walgreens Boots Alliance too have complained about an increase in the number of cases of theft. Some retailers were reportedly forced to close stores at certain locations because of this issue. Barry said that they have no clue about why the crimes have increased in the recent past but they are hard to stop.