Skip to main content

In the wake of a few high profile incidents of flash-mob style retail thefts, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said the company is considering a number of security measures in response.

After announcing the company's 3rd Quarter results Tuesday, Barry said that the Richfield-based company is among the major retailers who have been hit in recent months by organized retail thefts.

This was most notably seen this week in California, where a group of up to 80 thieves descended on a Nordstrom store and conducted a smash-and-grab style theft, one of multiple incidents reported in the West Coast state in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, Barry expressed concern in an interview with CNBC that such large-scale thefts could impose additional trauma on employees already dealing with the pressures presented by the ongoing pandemic, and could impact retailers' ability to attract future workers.

"When we talk about why there are so many people looking for other jobs or switching careers, this of course would be something that would play into my concerns for our people because, again, priority one is just human safety,” she told CNBC. “And it’s hard to deal with this potentially multiple times in one location.”

These comments echoed some she made on Best Buy's earnings call Tuesday morning, in which she noted that the company is in some stores hiring additional security, and is considering locking up some of the products in a way that doesn't too badly impact the customer experience.

"I want to start with, our priority has always been and will remain the safety of our people, whether that's the pandemic, whether that is unruly customers, whether that is outright theft, which is a great deal of what we're seeing right now, and this is a real issue that hurts and scares real people," she said.

"We are doing a number of things to protect our people and our customers. We are - as we talked about in the prepared remarks, we are finding ways where we can lock up product but still make that a good customer experience. In some instances, we're hiring security. We're working with our vendors on creative ways we can stage the product. We're working with trade organizations."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The company reported positive Q3 results on Tuesday, with comparable sales rising by 2% compared to Q3 in 2020. This is impressive considering Q3 2020 saw the company post a 22.6% rise as consumers flocked for home computing and tech solutions amid the rise in work-from-home.

While there has been a significant – but unsurprising – dip in computing demand compared to last year, there have been stronger sales of appliances, home theater and mobile phones.

The rise in retail thefts has impacted some of its stock levels, but the company said that despite this and despite supply chain issues, it's entering the 4th Quarter with a higher inventory than at the same point last year.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 5.01.34 PM

Suspected Bloomington restaurant killer arrested in Oklahoma

The 47-year-old Texas man was arrested around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Screen Shot 2022-11-24 at 9.16.39 AM

Minnetonka woman, 23, ID'd as victim killed in Minneapolis crash

The fatal crash happened near the Minneapolis Convention Center on Nov. 21.


More than 100 geese, ducks found dead on partially frozen MN lake

The discovery was made in Waseca at the weekend.


After losing sponsor, advocates fear Minneapolis' Nice Ride could shut down

They are calling on the city to provide financial support till a new sponsor is found.

Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 3.32.46 PM

Colleen Lindstrom announces departure from MyTalk radio show

Lindstrom's last broadcast on the long-running show will be Dec. 9.


Diocese of Superior identifies 23 clergy members with 'substantiated' abuse

The announcement from the diocese came after a multiple reviews with external agencies.


Flu surge worsens in schools ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

Earlier this week, Minnesota hospital leaders said the number of sick children is creating a capacity crisis for the health system.


Bloomington police investigating shooting; public asked to avoid area

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


best buy

Best Buy makes job cuts weeks after warning of soft sales

The Richfield retailer has been dealing with a shift in consumer trends.

Screen Shot 2022-10-19 at 1.59.52 PM

Target claims 'organized crime' contributed to $400M loss

Target's anti-theft measures have been particularly noticeable in downtown Minneapolis.

Best Buy

Best Buy the latest retailer to announce Thanksgiving closure

It follows on from the likes of Target and Walmart.


Target profits plunge as it takes hit from shedding excess goods

The retailer announced earlier this year it would be slashing prices.

best buy

Best Buy reportedly cutting jobs, hours as pandemic hits stores

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the Minnesota retailer is making cuts.

best buy

Best Buy reports massive rise in online, in-store sales

People turned to Best Buy to buy computers, home theater and appliances during the pandemic.


Target touts new app, ordering features ahead of holidays

Here's how the retailer plans on making things "easy" for customers.