Retail Businesses In San Francisco Scared Of Losing Employees Due Increases In Crime

Recently, Corie Barry, the chief executive of Best Buy, is worried about the possibility of retail theft throughout West Coast stores will lead a large number of employees to quit.

“These are traumatic experiences, and they are happening more and more across the country,” stated Barry in an interview with CNBC. She went on to state that San Francisco and other California cities have shown themselves to be “hot spots” for retail theft.

“When we talk about why there are so many people looking for other jobs or switching careers, this of course would be something that would play into my concerns for our people because, again, priority one is just human safety,” she stated. “And it’s hard to deal with this potentially multiple times in one location.”

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As reported by CNBC:

She said the retailer has seen a noticeable jump in organized crime, with people coming to stores to steal consumer electronics — and in some cases, bringing a weapon such as a gun or a crowbar. She said the company will prioritize the safety of customers and employees, even if that means criminals are running out the door with thousands of dollars of merchandise.

To fight organized crime, Best Buy is locking up some of its merchandise, hiring security guards in certain locations and working with retail trade groups to look for solutions, Barry said on an earnings call…

Barry said she’s not sure why the crimes have increased but they are hard to stop. The retailer discourages its employees from confronting the thieves and in some cases, law enforcement prioritizes other kinds of crimes.

In events that took place this past weekend, three stores out in San Francisco were assaulted by a large group of thieves and looters. For example, over in the town of Walnut Creek, which is seated just a half-hour outside of San Francisco proper, a group of over eighty people wearing ski masks and carrying crowbars and pepper sp[rayy rushed a Nordstrom store with the intent to rob the place. In the robbery, multiple employees were attacked and injured.

The worsening crime wave has led to many businesses closing stores in the area, For example, Walgreens has stated it will close out five stores this month alone.

“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” stated Phil Caruso, a spokesman for Walgreens. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”

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