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Two experts forecast that the rise in retail thefts “only escalates from here” into a “epidemic” this holiday season, despite warnings from well-known retailers like Walmart and Home Depot.

“This is an epidemic right now. Bob Nardelli, a former chairman and CEO of Chrysler and the CEO of Home Depot, said on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that it was spreading more quickly than COVID. “In terms of severity, it’s no longer just theft; it’s also smash and grab. There is an entitlement that, if you have it, you have earned through hard work. “I desire it. Simply put, I’m taking it.

Business analyst and president of 7 Stage Advisors Carl Gould had said on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” on Wednesday that “it’s not so much the numbers, although the numbers are alarming, it’s the way this is going on and the implications for each community and each store that this happens in.”

“That’s where the big issue is, because this kind of crime just encourages other kinds of crime, and it just gets worse from here,” she said.

Doug McMillon, the CEO of Walmart, stated that theft is “higher than what it has historically been” and added that the retailer has “put in place by store location” safety and security measures to help address the problem.

McMillon continued, “I think having staffed local law enforcement and being a good partner is part of that equation, and that’s normally how we approach it.
In advance of the holiday shopping season, Walmart has joined the growing list of retailers suffering from the nation’s rampant theft and crime. Concerns about shoplifting have been made public by retailers like Kroger, Target, and Best Buy as well as drugstore chains like Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens.

Additionally, The Home Depot recently stated that it was “outraged” by the death of an elderly employee who was shoved during a store theft in North Carolina this fall.

While describing the tragedy as “very, very unfortunate” and “sad,” Nardelli urged the Biden administration to address the problem of rising crime.

“Now it’s gotten so bad that Doug McMillon is talking about how it’s affecting earnings. And this is yet another unnoticed factor in inflation, according to Nardelli. “Our colleagues are terrified. The salespeople in retail are terrified. Customers are frightened. We must take action to control this. And if the government doesn’t take charge of this, both public and private businesses will assume control.

An 83-year-old Home Depot worker from North Carolina passed away from his wounds in October after being knocked to the ground by a shoplifter.

The National Retail Federation reported in mid-September that total shrink losses—the term retailers use to refer to theft and other types of inventory loss—rose to $94.5 billion in 2021. According to the 2022 National Retail Security Survey, incidents of organized retail crime increased by an average of 26.5% during the same year.
Gould noted that while “most” of the shrinkage experienced by large retailers can be attributed to a “inside job by the employees,” outside theft motivated by “opportunity” is forcing stores to maintain a high level of security.

An armed guard was hired by one Philadelphia gas station owner to keep an eye out for criminal activity, he told FOX Business’ Jeff Flock on Thursday.

Neil Patel stated, “We are tired of all this nonsense: robbery, drug trafficking, [racketeering], and all kinds of [crime]. “I worry about my safety, that of my employee, and the safety of my lovely neighborhood. “All clients.”

Nardelli responded, “It’s unbelievable what’s happening and what we’re allowing to happen. Again, regrettably, the abdication is left in the hands of businesses like Walmart, Target, and gas stations, for instance, which must assume control and defend their assets and personnel.
The COVID-19 pandemic, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, was the primary reason for the rise in organized retail crime last year. She added that the Biden administration was collaborating with numerous communities across the country to “crack down” on crime in those areas.

However, neither Nardelli nor Gould made the case that the crime problem has gotten better since then.

“It used to be somebody would take a candy bar, there maybe was damage as a result of shipment, there was misplaced inventory,” Nardelli detailed. “However, it’s just outright robbery now. It’s just outright theft. Small incidents don’t happen very often.

What do you think of the situation with retail’s theft mass spreading trend? Please let us know in the comments.