Have Best Buy Staff Changes Led To Increase In Shoplifting?

Best Buy has been making more than a few changes in recent months, and one Best Buy employee writes in to tell us that he believes some staffing changes have led to an increase in stolen items going out the front door.

The anonymous tipster says that the store he works at has “gotten rid of our ‘receipt checkers’ as you call them (asset protection or loss prevention to us)” and that this has already resulted in more shoplifting.

“With no one to watch the door or keep an eye on customers with the security camera, the responsibility of keeping an eye out for shoplifters has fallen directly on the sales associates,” he explains. “It’s hard to keep an eye on a customer who refuses to be helped when you’re already helping other customers.”

The tipster says he’s also heard about tales about other Best Buys that have been similarly affected. He claims he heard of one store $13,000 worth of product from just the camera section.

“Just a heads up to the changes we’ve made in order to keep you, the customer, happy and less annoyed when you enter and leave our store,” he writes.

What the tipster doesn’t mention is that a lack of loss prevention staffers would also make it easier for sticky-fingered employees to walk out the door with stolen merch.

When reached for comment, a Best Buy rep told Consumerist, “As you know, we have rolled out a new U.S. operating model, which includes restructuring teams within the stores – but we did not reduce our overall number of loss prevention positions. I cannot speak to any changes made by local management at a particular store.”

We know that some of you are also currently employed at Best Buy, so we’d love to hear from you (in an equally anonymous fashion) to see if this tipster’s claims are accurate or if it’s an anomaly — or maybe he’s exaggerating. Let us know in the comments or shoot us an e-mail at tips@consumerist.com.

Update: The original tipster clarifies that The Loss Prevention/’receipt checkers’ are “still part of the store, but their role is now to walk around the store looking out for stolen merch, quizzing the staff on important store numbers, and occasionally helping out customers as well. Honestly, it’s more of an afterthought, as the main focus of our store is selling the products and attaching all the plans and so forth. No more receipt checking, no putting little stickers on products being returned, and no one at the front to direct customers to certain departments.”