The construction retail giant Lowe’s announced this week that it expected to lose approximately $1 billion due to retail theft. The store’s statement comes during a significant wave of organized shoplifting that has affected a number of major retailers.
The company reported that retail theft for the 2023 fiscal year was $997, which was about the same as the previous year. This figure was much higher than the $796 million it suffered in its 2021 fiscal year.
Lowe’s is not the only major company to report an increase in theft in recent months. Target stated that it lost almost $220 million in theft in May, June and July. Sporting goods retailer Dick’s also reported more than $27 million in such losses during the same months.
In particular, footwear companies reported a significant loss due to organized theft, but Foot Locker did not report a specific amount.
Retail theft has increased substantially since the 2020 George Floyd riots, with groups of individuals often caught on camera stealing hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of goods. A high-profile robbery of a Los Angeles Nordstrom location recently made national headlines.
Stores have reacted in different ways, with one Mid-Atlantic grocery chain taking brand-name items off the shelf to deter theft.
Giant Food announced earlier this month that it would remove the items “in an attempt to mitigate the unprecedented levels of product theft that has become unsustainable for our business.”
The company called the current level of theft “a problem that affects all of us, limiting product availability, creating a less convenient shopping experience and, most critically, placing our associates and customers in harm’s way.”
.@GiantFood announces it’s pulling away from brand name products at the ONLY full service supermarket east of the river to mitigate significant losses in theft. Full statement: pic.twitter.com/rJ4lqhjCKt
— Stephanie Ramirez (@RamirezReports) September 3, 2023
Other companies have closed down a number of retail locations, including the aforementioned Nordstrom closing several locations in San Francisco. The California city is currently rated as one of the worst in the nation for shoplifting.
The issue has been especially pronounced in cities currently administered by the Democratic Party.