Nov 23, 2021 - Economy

Best Buy sees spike in shoplifting, pressuring profits

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Best Buy is the latest retailer — joining Kroger and others — to say "organized crime" is weighing on its bottom line.

Why it matters: Companies say profits took a hit for all sorts of reasons. It's not every day that theft is a scapegoat.

  • Best Buy says there was a jump in groups stealing merchandise. They say it's happening across the country, but Northern California is a hot spot. (Walgreens says theft forced store closures there, though crime stats may not support that.)
  • "You can see that pressure in our financials and, more importantly, frankly, you can see that pressure with our associates," CEO Corie Barry told Wall Street today, noting they will now lock up merchandise and hire security "in some instances."

The bottom line: Best Buy — which also called out supply chain costs, among other problems — saw its stock fall 12%, the worst decline since March 2020.

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