Craig Menear Of Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) Blames Opioid Crisis For The Theft Of Merchandise Worth Several Million Dollars

Chief Executive Officer of Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD), Craig Menear, said theft of merchandise amounting to several million dollars is because of a rise in the opioid crisis. In a chat with the analysts of Wall Street, he said the goods stolen the stores are dumped in the private warehouses. It is called an organized retail crime and increasing gradually in the US.

In a conference call on Wednesday, Craig said we can link these thefts to the increased use of heroin and fentanyl in the US. Working with the law enforcement authorities collectively is helping to bust the racket.

CEO did not specify the exact loss

Craig has not specified the amount of loss from the recent shopliftings. Instead, he referred to an earlier incident in which several retailers suffered a total loss of $16.5 million on account of shoplifting and in the warehouse. According to the available information, Home Depot has goods worth $1.4 million in the warehouse at the time of the incident. The warehouses store several million worth of goods.

Home Depot scouts for tougher legislation

Home Depot is scouting for tougher legislation to deal with shoplifters. Margaret Smith, a spokesman of Home Depot, said the company increased security at its stores. It is cooperating with law enforcement authorities to investigate the thefts by providing CCTV footage from its stores.

Executive Vice President of Home Depot, Ann-Marie Campbell, said it has initiated several measures to protect the high priced items. The company also introduced technology-based protection to reduce thefts.

Opioid crisis costs $631 billion

According to the available information, the opioid crisis has caused a loss of $631 billion on the US economy between 2015 and 2018. Home Depot CEO cites only a loss on its stores caused due to the rising opioid crisis. The rising opioid crisis is impacting negatively on the earnings of retailers.

Laura Champine, an analyst at Loop Capital, said the officials at Home Depot use words like working with law enforcement authorities and organized crime. But she heard lots of trucks with stashed goods are stolen. They should control such thefts to prevent huge losses.

Home Depot reported revenues of $27.22 billion in Q3 2019. It has reported better than expected earnings. However, the home improvement retailer has lowered the forecast for 2019.

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