Home Depot’s top executive has warned of an epidemic of retail theft as the chain tightens security on high-value items.
Home Depot CEO Ted Decker called organized retail crime a “big problem” after two employees were killed last year.
“This is a big problem for retailers,” Decker said CNBC’s Squawk Box in June. “It’s not the random shoplifter anymore.”
Two Home Depot employees, Gary Rasor, 83, and Black Mohs, 26, died in separate thefts this year. Monetary-wise Reports.
Former Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli described organized retail crime as an “epidemic that is spreading faster than Covid,” according to the outlet.
According to a 2022 survey, retailers lost $94.5 billion in 2021 National Retail Association.
This is an increase from the $90.8 billion lost in 2020, and the NRF said the primary cause of these losses was theft.
“It’s growing double digits year over year,” said Scott Glenn, vice president of asset protection at Home Depot ABC News in June.
“We don’t have enough resources to deal with it, [so] We need to prioritize the biggest impacts.”
Just last month, it was revealed that a Florida pastor was accused of running a retail theft ring that stole from hardware stores in the state and resold the items on eBay.
Robert Dell, 56, of St. Petersburg, allegedly coordinated a crime ring that stole at least $1.4 million from Home Depot over the course of several years Miami Herald Reports.
“Many of these products are [re-sold] on online marketplaces,” Decker told Squawk Box.
“We are increasingly concerned about the safety of our employees and our customer base,” he added.
Home Depot has locked up high-value items to thwart shoplifters.
“They’re not all big – they’re not all power tools and generators,” he said.
“You can have a circuit breaker – [worth] $50, $60, $80 – these are all high theft risk items.”
Decker said Home Depot has also invested more in security guards, more lighting in parking lots and recording towers.