After Dick’s Sporting Goods layoffs, business expert says theft poses threat to retail industry

It’s estimated that hundreds of corporate jobs were cut from Dick’s Sporting Goods. The Coraopolis-based company released its quarterly report, and in it we found that the company has experienced a 23% profit drop.

The company’s CEO Lauren Hobart is blaming an unprecedented amount of theft as the cause.

“Our Q2 profitability was short … due in large part to the impact of elevated inventory shrink, an increasingly serious issue impacting many retailers,” Hobart said.

Related Coverage >> Dick’s Sporting Goods cuts hundreds of corporate jobs, reports say

“They are not alone in having this problem,” said Elaine Luther, a business professor at Point Park University.

Luther said other major retail stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Target have all been impacted by widespread theft in the movement towards self-checkout systems.

“A lot of times people walk out the door when they can’t find someone to help them and a lot of times, they walk out the door with the thing they wanted,” Luther said.

She said retail workers deter that type of theft.

“This movement to take people away on the floor or at the checkout has made even the typically honest person less honest. It’s almost like we are helping them become shoplifters,” Luther said.

Now she and other business experts are warning that if widespread theft continues regular customers could begin to pay the price at the register.

“That can only be covered so much by layoffs then of course it will end up in price,” she said.

She said that while the impact on our region may not be profound, if the shopping experience continues to change it will have an impact on the entire industry.

“A lot of people have put checkers at the door they have more surveillance and other things that may make it uncomfortable and if the atmosphere towards retail changes not just our region but other regions,” she said.

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