Home Depot uses Bluetooth to hinder organized retail crime, such as coordinated groups that steal from a retailer and take merchandise to pawnshops or resell them in online marketplaces.
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Piloting the technology on power tools in select stores across select states. The technology is activated at a cash register or other point of sale, allowing purchased items to work as soon as they leave the store. A stolen item with this Bluetooth technology will not work.
Business Insider previously reported on the effort.
“The value of any product lies in its aptitude to operate,” said Christina Cornell, a spokeswoman for Home Depot. “If we take that away, there is no reason to steal it.”
The idea is similar to how gift cards work; On the shelf, they have no value. Funds are credited to the cards at checkout.
Bluetooth technology is applied to the item rather than the box or other packaging. The home improvement chain works with partners such as Stanley Black & Decker Inc. SWK,
on the programme. Home Depot is considering other items with lofty resale value, such as smart home goods, for its Bluetooth efforts.
Cornell said the company saw a slight rise in crime, which it attributed to organized groups, who might then use money from reselling stolen goods to fund other criminal activities.
Home Depot, like many other retailers, according to Cornell, has an inner group dedicated to monitoring these crimes and works with law enforcement on the issue.
Home Depot is looking at other measures to deal with the problem. We are trying to fight this on all fronts. “We need to make it more firm to steal from our stores,” Cornell said. There is another need for law enforcement and prosecutors to think of this as more than just a property crime. We need more accountability and verification in the markets.”
Home Depot has partnered with the Buy Safe America Alliance to support the INFORM Consumer Act, legislation that requires verification of self-reliant sellers in online marketplaces. The Buy Safe America Alliance represents consumer groups, retailers, manufacturers, and others in an effort to quit the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.
“By enhancing transparency and ensuring accountability, professional criminals will be less likely to rely on e-commerce platforms to promote stolen products,” Buy Safe America wrote in an email.
Home Depot hasn’t put a dollar amount into the cost of the company’s organized crime, and the company hasn’t said how much the Bluetooth pilot program costs.
Until the thieves find out ي [that stealing items from Home Depot is] It’s not worth it, there will be some loss,” Cornell said.
The problem of shoplifting is big enough that other retailers are also taking action to forbid it.
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It changed its California store opening hours earlier this month following a “disturbing rise” in shoplifting.
Thieves have been caught on camera at stores operated by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. WBA,
And Neiman Marcus in recent weeks.
While Home Depot is working to forbid criminals, the company says it still wants to provide a welcoming shopping environment for paying customers. “We don’t want to affect the customer experience until stores become a fortress,” she said. “We’re trying to think of ways that won’t affect the 98% of consumers who shop legitimately.”
Home Depot stock is up 23.2% in 2021 while the DJIA Dow Jones Industrial Average is up,
It has gained 14.6% over that period.