Customers are being forced to stand in line at this store because crime is costing too much

Photo by Tim Samuel from Pexels

Crooks just do not have any fear of consequences anymore because of woke DAs and defund the police politicians.

Whether people are stealing clothing, food, or high-end luxury handbags, it’s clear that theft is on the rise across America.

Now even low-end retailers are changing the way they do business because shopper convenience has gotten too expensive because of crime.

Five Below announces big changes

Five Below is a popular American retail store that sells accessories, games, candy, and clothing items that are popular with kids and pre-teens.

During its fourth-quarter earnings call, the company’s CEO, Joel Anderson, announced that Five Below has “now evolved” to using more associate-assisted checkout for its over 1,500 locations.

Anderson said certain Five Below locations that are vulnerable to more “shrink,” or thefts, are now mainly offering checkout run by cashiers rather than self-checkout.

The company will also now add things like receipt checking, hiring extra employees, and using more security guards at those stores, he said.

“We expect to have 75% of our transactions chain-wide assisted by an associate with a goal of 100% in our highest-shrink, highest-risk stores to be fully transacted by an associate,” said Anderson.

The CEO also said his company’s decision to use these tactics to curtail theft should help them “over time” and that the company “intend[s] to aggressively pursue returning to pre-pandemic levels of shrink or offsetting the impact over the next few years.”

The decision from Five Below comes just a few days after another popular retailer, Dollar General, said it was also cutting back on offering self-checkout for customers.

Dollar General has 20,000 stores and plans to pivot toward more checkout options that use human associates while placing limits on self-checkout items.

According to the National Retail Federation, retailers incurred $112.1 billion in losses due to shrink in 2022.

Anderson said his company had “tested many shrink mitigation initiatives late in Q3, into Q4, including product-related tests, front-end initiatives, and guard programs” before the new changes were announced.

Retail shrink is a growing problem

Five Below said it had already started to reduce self-checkout registers available at certain times of the day, opting to put its employees at the front of the stores instead.

However, the company was forced to start using “additional mitigation efforts,” including going back to associate-assisted checkout after it still saw high levels of shrink in January, according to Anderson.

Many retailers have been grappling with the issue of shrink, a retail industry term used to describe theft and other instances of inventory loss.

Although it might not all be related to shrink, Five Below reported lower earnings per share of $3.65 for the fourth quarter.

Anderson said the number was “at the low end of our internal expectations and can be fully attributed to higher-than-planned shrink.”

Calculating how much shrink affects retailers’ bottom lines can be tricky.

Some retailers are also looking at other ways to mitigate revenue loss, such as limiting offerings for items that have weaker demand, like athletic gear or toys.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.