CNN Business: Best Buy’s simple strategy for beating shoplifting

UC criminologist John Eck weighs in on the increasing wave of retail crime, specifically shoplifting

According to a CNN feature on the shoplifting crisis now plaquing the nation, electronics are among the most stolen retail items. Yet, the article states that retail chain Best Buy is effectively doing something that most retailers — regardless of the type of merchandise — have not done or cannot afford to do: Increase the number of employees to discourage shoplifting.

Criminologist John Eck, a professor in the University of Cincinnati’s School of Criminal Justice, told the media outlet that Best Buy’s approach is commonsensical: “If you’re being watched, you’re generally more careful. Not too many things in criminology are better understood than that.”

The article points to reductions in staff and technologies that place more of the retail experience on the customer (i.e., self-checkout lanes) as partially to blame because they make storefronts more attractive to criminals.

“The more retailers go toward reducing their labor costs and putting more of the energy on shoppers, the higher the shoplifting,” Eck stated.

Read the article

Feature photo at top iStock Photo/Михаил Руденко.

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