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RETAIL bosses have warned of soaring thefts in many stores, as rising costs lead more and more people to turn to crime.
A spate of shoplifting in major retailers such as Target and Macy’s are said to be cutting into profits already stretched by the worldwide economic downturn.
Now Macy’s chief executive has revealed that the firm will introduce a swathe of new anti-theft measures to target the thieves.
Speaking about the surging crime figures, Macy CEO Jeff Gennette told analysts earlier this month: “We definitely had an uptick since last year. It’s an industrywide trend.”
He blamed the increase partly on shoppers returning to shopping in person after almost exclusively purchasing items online during the Covid pandemic.
“More theft happens in stores,” he said.
However, Gennette also warned that organized retail crime was growing in many parts of the US.
“These are crime levels we haven’t seen before,” he said.
In response to rising shoplifting figures, Gennette announced that Macy’s is now using radio frequency ID tags to better track its inventory.
It is also hiring more security personnel for stores and securing high-end brands with locked cables and censors.
Last month, New York police told shoppers to take off their face masks before entering stores, to make it easier for cops to identify criminals.
This followed a robbery on a Queens jewelry store where thieves stole around $1.1 million in goods.
Last year, President Biden signed into law the Inform Consumers Act, making it harder for criminals to resell stolen goods online.
Currently, the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023 is making its way through Congress.
It comes as Walgreens finance chief James Kehoe admitted some retailers may have gone too far when it comes to anti-theft measures.
He told investors in January: “Maybe we cried too much last year. We’ve put in incremental security in the stores.
“Probably we put in too much and we might step back a little bit from that.”
Macy’s gave up its practice of keeping German shepherds in its Manhattan store for security sweeps in 2015.
Major retailer’s CEO warns of rising thefts in store – see the new anti-theft measures being taken
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