How Best Buy Is Battling An Uptick In Theft

Best Buy is combatting an uptick in theft by keeping high-value items off its shelves and behind lock and key.

By Ryan Clancy | Published

In a post-pandemic world, the mega-chain store Best Buy is battling with more shoplifters than ever. Since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, retailers have had to deal with problem after the problem. Now global inflation has hit them hard again.

They have spent the last two years redefining their business mantras and reshaping their stores to how customers now like to shop in a post-pandemic world. A nightmare challenge for all concerned. But it seems stores like Best Buy are having other business challenges in 2022.

As shoplifting is on the rise, probably due to the rising cost of just about everything, retailers are giving details on their anti-theft strategies. One technique seems to be the tried and true method universal to all stores: Keep the high-value goods off the shelves completely.

Tactics of Major Chair Stores

The Wall Street Journal looks at tactics to impede shoplifters from all the major superstores, such as Best Buy, CVS, and Home Depot. These stores have to balance convenience for their shoppers with tactics to stop shoplifters from leaving with high-value merchandise.

Best Buy is a retail chain used to these various tactics, having been open in America for over two decades. Still, as shoplifting is increasing in some cities, their strategies must change. Now, anti-theft strategies are not only for high-value goods; they have expanded to everyday products like toothpaste or honey, which is surprising.

Best buy, down through the years, has locked away less than 5% of its total stock. While they said it isn’t locking up more of its goods than they have historically, that number can be higher in specific areas that have been hit hard by shoplifters. This process is implemented in places that receive a high level of crime, like, in Houston, Texas, the Wall Street Journal reported.

best buy retailers smell

QR Codes to Stop Shoplifters

 A new tactic brought in last winter by Best Buy is to replace their high-value items with QR codes. These codes can be scanned by shoppers and picked up at the cash registers or brought directly to customers from the warehouse storage facility. They have also been testing strategies that allow staff to be near certain items that thieves have targeted in the hope of stopping them in their tracks.

Best Buy has been relying on increasing online sales to escape the shoplifters entering their stores. These sales will keep much of its stock in the warehouse rather than on the shop floor as that is where the demand is. Keeping any business open in this post-pandemic world where everyone has to tighten their belts is an achievement in itself.

Best Buy and other chain stores have had to be so creative at keeping people in their shops. This year, many people have less expendable money and spend what they have more wisely. It is a shame people like shoplifters have to potentially ruin the experience of honest shoppers while they enjoy spending their hard-earned money.