Best Buy CEO says rising thefts are ‘traumatic’ for employees

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The CEO of Best Buy said the recent spate of mass store thefts is hurting the company’s business and has been “traumatic” for employees.

Corie Barry told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday she is “seeing more loosely organized groups come together and target our stores,” a trend that is scaring employees.

“What I would really stress here is, for our employees, these are really traumatic experiences,” she said. “Obviously, their safety is our first priority.”

Best Buy will combat the issue by working more closely with local law enforcement and locking up more products, in an effort to implement more safeguards and prevent theft and looting.

“They are happening more and more across the country,” Barry said. “It’s really been a horrible change in the trajectory of the business, and one we are working hard to try and stem.”

A variety of stores nationwide are experiencing a rise in shoplifting. Walgreens announced in October it was closing five stores because of crime sprees, while two Nordstroms in California were hit this week by mobs of thieves.

Best Buy has seen a number of electronics and devices stolen at its stores, too. Best Buy’s third-quarter earnings report was higher than expected, but the company saw a 15 percent drop in its stock on Tuesday. 

Tags Best Buy Corie Barry Crime crime spree holiday shopping looting Retail sales Retail stores Theft

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