Walgreens executive: "Maybe we cried too much" about shoplifting, thefts
A Walgreens executive said Thursday the company may have been too concerned about the surge in thefts and rise in shoplifting attempts last year, CNN reports.
Why it matters: Shoplifting has become a major crisis nationwide, leading to stores closing their doors and locking up mundane items, Axios' Jennifer A. Kingson writes.
- Organized crime gangs are looting stores and have become more aggressive and violent in their attempts.
Driving the news: “Maybe we cried too much last year," Walgreens finance chief James Kehoe said Thursday in an earnings call about his company's concerns over shoplifting, according to CNN.
- Walgreens' shrink rate dropped from 3.5% in 2021 to 2.5% in the most recent quarter, CNN reports.
- “We’re stabilized,” he said, according to CNBC, adding that Walgreen is “quite happy with where we are.”
The big picture: Shrinkage is a term used to describe inventory loss due to theft, fraud, damage and other factors.
- Retail loss is a nearly $100 billion problem for the industry, the National Retail Federation found last year.
- The Combating Organized Retail Crime Act, introduced in September, would create a federal organized retail crime task force.
Retailers are banding together to push for more verification of online sellers to curb the resale of stolen goods.
- Walgreens hired private security guards and locked up simple items so people can't access them without an associate, CNBC reports.
- “Probably we put in too much, and we might step back a little bit from that,” Kehoe said, per CNN.
Yes, but: There are other retailers — such as Walmart and Target — that recently said theft has been a major problem. For example, Target said in November it lost $400 million from shrinkage and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said he may have to close stores or increase prices if his company can't get shrinkage under control.
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