Walgreens chief says the threat of organized retail theft has become extreme

A top Walgreens executive admitted Thursday that the drugstore chain exaggerated the threat of organized retail theft, a flashpoint in the bitter criminal justice debate that helped impeach former San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

“Maybe we cried a lot last year,” Walgreens Chief Financial Officer James Kehoe said of the earnings, acknowledging that there were losses from “shrinkage” — usually a term for merchandise that disappears from store shelves because someone stole it. more manageable.

While inventory that accounted for 3.5% of the drugstore chain’s total sales last year disappeared, this year’s losses have stabilized, Kehoe said, closer to the “average two.” He further noted that Walgreens has stepped up private security patrols at its stores, which have been “largely ineffective.”

Instead, the company will rely more on law enforcement. CNBC first reported Kehoe’s comments.

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