CVS is working with Congress and attorney generals to fight sales of products stolen in smash-and-grab robberies on online marketplaces.
According to the company’s CEO, Karen Lynch, the uptick in organized crime stems from online marketplaces, where sellers can anonymously offload stolen merchandise and reap profits.
“They’re criminals, and it is impacting our stores,” Lynch said. “What they’re doing is they’re taking our products off the shelf and they’re putting them online and we need to go after that.”
CVS and a group of other major retailers are calling for legislation requiring online marketplaces to verify third-party sellers on their platforms.
While the impact of such robberies is not necessarily significant on major retailers’ bottom lines, such incidences create a host of other problems. Smash-and-grab robberies, for example, involve the use of crowbars and guns, especially when robbers are stealing consumer electronic goods.
Aside from the safety of in-store employees and customers, such incidences negatively impact the recruitment and retention of employees. That poses an even bigger problem in today’s tight labor market, according to Best Buy CEO Corie Barry.
In the interim, retailers are taking a variety of approaches to combat the spike in crime. Best Buy, for one, is hiring security guards at select locations and locking up high-value merchandise. CVS, meanwhile, is putting certain products under lock, requiring store employees to unlock them.