When shopping at my local Home Depot store recently, I spotted a very obvious and significant change. They’ve locked up a lot of the power tools!
This is a relatively new security measure. Have you seen the same at your Home Depot stores?
Shown above, caged doors were installed over a Dewalt 20V Max and FlexVolt cordless power tools endcap.
Locked cage doors were also placed in front of a Milwaukee cordless power tools and accessories endcap.
The same was true for an endcap with Milwaukee Packout tool boxes and accessory sets.
A QR code points you to their online store in case what you want is sold out in store.
Even the Ryobi cordless power tools endcap display was locked behind cage doors.
All of these locks went up during or just ahead of the 2022 holiday shopping season.
My Home Depot store also recently overhauled their checkout area, creating a single entry point. I previously assumed this was done to increase and streamline the flow to self-checkout. Was this at least partially designed as an anti-theft measure?
It’s Not Just Home Depot…
I recently visited a local craft store chain for the first time in a while. I’m used to seeing artist paints behind locked panels at stores, but individual markers?
Certain Dewalt tools are locked behind caged doors at a local Lowe’s store. I took this and the following photos last year during the 2021 holiday shopping season.
Last year, my Lowe’s store applied anti-theft alarm tags on any Dewalt cordless power tools not behind locked doors.
And for their main Dewalt promotional display, they had sales tickets, where you pay for an item before receiving it.
Will this Change How You Shop for Tools?
My Home Depot has had certain accessories behind locked cage doors in the past, such as Diablo router bits. I have found that it can take a few minutes for me to find someone to unlock a cage.
A few of my local stores have CCTV cameras and monitors in the power tool accessories aisles, along with “recording in progress” notices.
Some home improvement stores I have visited in the past have tool corrals with a single point for entry and exit. If I recall correctly, one even had a turnstile.
I would say that anti-theft measures might lead to slower sales from legitimate customers, but we’ve already seen that this holiday season with tools that were on the open sales floor.
See Also: Home Depot has Stacks of Unsold Ryobi Holiday Tool Deals
If tools are going to sell quickly or well, will placing them in locked cages change that?
Would you be less inclined to shop at stores that lock up tools and more valuable supplies and accessories? Would this drive you to take advantage of in-store pickup when available?
Home Depot talked about tool activation security measures in 2019 and again in 2021, and Lowe’s recently announced RFID-based activation and blockchain authentication concepts.
Frankly, I’d rather the inconvenience of having to find an associate to open a tool display than deal with cordless power tools having to be activated at checkout registers via Bluetooth or RFID.
If you had to choose, would you prefer having to deal with locked-up tools, or tools that are disabled until activated at a register at the time of purchase?
They all are now.
Even the end stands are locked.
All over the country.
This is just another data point in the saga that was described yesterday’s post about Blockchain enablement for power tools. I’m generally not one to bemoan the status of the world or pine for “the good old days”. But there does seem to be a recent shift towards the sort of disregard for societal norms and the law when it comes to theft. I’m not sure what impact the Pandemic had on this – or if it’s just a media reporting frenzy – but there sure do seem to be more and more evidence that some people think that theft is a legitimate means for earning a living. Running into a convenient jewelry store or HD – grabbing what you can and selling it later – seems to be gaining appeal. I suppose that online outlets like eBay may be facilitating the fencing of stolen goods – but they are not per se the problem – rather the moral turpitude of the thieves is what’s at fault.
Do you genuinely believe that eBay is a larger avenue to sell stolen goods than Craigslist or FB Marketplace?
Truly curious if there’s any stats behind it.
I think he mentioned eBay, but would probably include Craigslist or FB Marketplace. Mind you, Craigslist or FB Marketplace or more local/regional sales while on eBay someone can sell and ship anywhere, nationally or international.
As long as we have the current catch and release / no cash bail, these issues will continue and probably get considerably worse.
This is a bigger discussion, but prior to bail reforms if you had a little bit of money you didn’t have to sit in jail anyway. It was just if you were poor you had to sit in jail without being convicted of a crime.
This had a lot of knock on effects such as resulting in people losing jobs and people taking plea deals, even if they were innocent, so they could get out of sitting for months in jail waiting for a trial to prove they were innocent. It cost a lot of taxpayer dollars to keep them locked up, too.
You do realize that the more extreme the crime, the higher the bail. There is a reason for this. Bail bonds were created for such incidents of people not having even the 10%. This means that if you committed a murder, you’d be kept off if the streets and not allowed to continue murdering. If you were caught with petty theft, and had even a few dollars, you’d be able to post bail.
The bondsman was able to assist even the poorest of the poor, should the crime you had committed been low enough. But the saying goes, do the crime, be prepared to do the time.
On top of that there are plenty of cases where the crime was not so heinous, and the judge allowed a PR bond. Also PR bonds were given to those that are “poor”. The system works.
But let’s be real here, plea deals are not going to allow someone to go home instantly, especially for a major crime.
However, allowing criminals to simply walk out, freely after committing crimes Only embolden them to return to that same lifestyle. It does not deter them from more criminal activity. I mean, how many times do we need to see that the perpetrator that just murdered someone was caught and released for murdering someone just 2 days ago, or raping little girls a day ago, but was caught doing it again today. How about the thief that was shot while robbing a bunch of people in the taco restaurant in Houston, while he was just released a few days earlier for committing crimes???
But hey, it’s nit your family that gets gunned down, pushed in front of a subway car or even a car driving down the street by someone that was just released a day ago after he had been arrested for manslaughter and aggravated assault on a minor child, now was it? So you don’t care.
I think it is more of raising the federal threshold that really did it.
YouTuber Mark Rober recently released a “Glitter Bomb” video, where he gets revenge (with glitter and fart spray) on package thieves, porch pirates, and people who smash the windows of vehicles to steal things from inside people’s cars.
To me, the craziest part of the video was a kid telling his parent that it was a “scam” and cursing the “YouTube scammers”. To this kid, stealing packages is a way of life, and anyone pushing back on it is “scamming” the hard working thieves.
A W – I saw that too AND thought the exact same thing!
For anyone interested in seeing the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c584TGG7jQ
I think a major source of the attitude shift towards more and more people normalizing petty theft is the increasingly cold and distant relationship corporations have towards customers. You’re not stealing from a small mom and pop hardware store, you’re stealing from a giant, soulless corporation.
Not saying that makes it right in any way, shape, or form, but easy to see where the apathy comes from.
Home Depot does not offer employee discounts. Instead, they have profit sharing for their employees. This creates a vested interest for each employee to prevent shrink, whether by theft, damage, or other means. Of course, the profits are shared out by rank, so those at the top get the biggest chunk. Given that these corporations always want to show increased profits every year, and value to their shareholders (to say nothing about justifying fat paychecks for themselves), when losses due to theft happen, it’s made up for by increased prices and less hours for front line workers. They consider this the cost of doing business. When people steal, the folks that suffer most are the store level workers and the customers themselves.
I feel like the security measures are put in place from increased pressure from the major power tool brands. Home Depot alone is their bread and butter retailer. Regardless of color, they all make most of their money from sales at HD year to year. To that point, Home Depot know this, these power tools are zero overhead items (manufacturers consign the inventory) and are paid from sales actually made, minus Home Depot’s rake. It could’ve been reneged, but it was always baked in the HD wasn’t responsible for losses due to theft, the manufacturers would just have to eat the cost. I doubt it, but that may have changed if theft has skyrocketed beyond an acceptable threshold, given that HD is supposed to be securing the inventory. I’d be curious to know if anyone is in the game currently.
As for the Fort Knox shelving situation, mine have looked like that for years. The only power tools that aren’t in a cage are the end caps which are all tagged with anti-theft tags. I can’t recall when they started doing it but it’s at least 3 years ago.
Home Depot had to lockup the power tools and lithium ion batteries because of the brazen onslaught of drive-by robberies. Perpetrators pull up in a generic vehicle, run into the store, conduct their “Grab-n-Go”, then speed off with the merchandise. This puts safety at risk to customers and employees. I was in a local store and witnessed this firsthand, and it was quite unsettling.
Now it takes more time to purchase these items, but it helps removes opportunities for theft. Safety is the most important factor that separates Home Depot from its competitors, so I’m all for it. Honestly, I don’t care what the thieves do with the products they steal. I don’t want to become a crime statistic when I shop!!
If we can’t keep the thieves behind bars, just lock up all your inventory (even markers) and eventually all your belongings (shipments, mail, garden tools, potted plants, etc.).
Sorry for the rant…just tired of reading (and seeing) all the theft that is so commonplace these days.
Sounds good to me. Although I’d rather keep criminals locked up.
Ever gone over the speed limit one time on any road/highway at any point in your life?
Thoughts so. You’re a criminal, too. Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.
OMG,,,,Stuart should shut down this thread. It has gotten out of hand.
Some of the comments have gotten out of hand (you don’t even want to know what the ones that never made it past first-time moderation looked like!), but most impart good info and insights.
I’m keeping a close eye on things.
Mike (the other one)
Good. People have been stealing cart loads of these and selling them on Craigslist/Marketplace.
I don’t know why it took them this long to figure this out.
And what should we make of the people who buy them (with a wink-wink nod-nod) knowing that they are probably stolen?
When I had my Cafe, someone came in with a Contax 645 and multiple lenses and offered it for a couple of hundred. Worth over $5k. As much as I love high end photo equip. and good deals, I didn’t buy it nor regretted that decision. I have a code I live by and buying stolen property is not an option. I’m surprised at what seemingly good people will do or put up with.
“knowing” that they are “probably” stolen?
Or perhaps conveniently choosing to deny that thought?
I’m sure that most legitimate businesses – online or otherwise – do not knowingly sell stolen merchandise. But thieves must be able to sell their ill-gotten gains – else they would not continue their nefarious practices.
It can be tricky to figure out for the buyer. Yes, quite obviously a tool listed for sale on Craigslist, Ebay, Facebook, etc, could be stolen. But it could also be an unwanted gift, part of a combo deal that someone didn’t need, etc. I know a few people who buy combo deals, say on black friday, specifically for batteries or some specific tool in the deal, and then sell the others they don’t need. There are also sellers who specialize in surplus, overstock, and liquidation. Sometimes there are obvious red flags or signs that the seller is legit, but a lot of the time it’s not easy to know.
They are just as guilty. I’m a GC, and I am approached on a regular basis by clowns with stolen merchandise. Sure, I’d like to buy a $200 tool for $60. But I know it is stolen and will not condone that behavior at all. I also tell anyone working for me or on my sites that this behavior will not be tolerated, and anyone caught either stealing or buying stolen goods will be terminated, immediately. I run those guys off all the time.
It’s made some used tools almost worthless. There are hundreds of brand new, mostly Milwaukee (and some DeWalt) tools listed on my local craigslist and marketplace. I tried to sell my gen. 2 M18 impact after getting the gen 4. And couldn’t even get $20 for it because there are 5 new in box ones listed for $45.
People are selling off the tools and batteries that they don’t need that came in holiday combo deals to offset their purchase price. Craigslist in my area is flooded with them. It’s a good time if you’re in the market, to get something for dirt cheap. It’s the only time of the year where you can actually believe it when they state that it’s new.
I still don’t believe them, and always ask to see a receipt that they bought the tool before I buy it from them. I can always yell who is the thief, because they don’t respond any more after that message.
Those that do have receipts gladly show them and absolutely understand.
In my area they are asking for retail+ prices. Not sure why, but I normally have to drive 50+ miles to get a good deal on craigslist.
Theft has been out of control in my town since well before the pandemic. With companies not even chasing thieves they know about because they fear a lawsuit or an injury to an employee or a bystander. The local pawn shop is almost as well stocked as HD in NIB tools.
I think things might be swinging back the other direction. A recent attempted theft of a vehicle, the perp was chased down, beat to with an inch of his life and left in the gutter for the police to sweep up. Local law enforcement came back with a ‘no bill’ on the guy who got his truck back. It frustrates them as much as it does us.
Local stores are now employing actual ‘loss reduction specialists’ that are pursuing and collaring shoplifters to be picked up by the cops.
Until society starts enforcing it’s own norms of expected behavior, crime will continue to spiral out of control.
That means that law enforcement referred the matter to a grand jury in order to determine whether or not to press charges. “no bill” means the Grand Jury did not press charges and the guy got off.
I’ve been increasingly frusterated by all my in-store shopping experiences. I’m way more likely these days to just order online even if it’s from a brick and mortar store.
I find that I go to a store only to find the product I want isn’t in stock, can’t be found, that they’re short-staffed and I have to wait 10-15 minutes before someone can help me – then another 10 in line to pay for it, or that the associate doesn’t know anything about the product and I have to help myself by looking up information online anyway, etc.
I get that my attitude might sound spoiled or impatient – but I don’t have those challenges when something ships to my house.
Take a recent example buying some soccer shoes for my kid. I knew what size I need, so I check what’s in stock before I leave the house. I drive into town to go get them, only I can’t find anyone in the shoe department when I get there.
After wandering around the store I find someone who can page another employee. When the employee appears he says they don’t have any shoes in that size. I show him what I was looking at online and he goes off again to search.
About ten minutes later he appears with a box – only to open it and find there’s only one shoe inside. He goes off to search again, before finally returning to say there are indeed no shoes in the requested size.
The associate helpfully recommends a specialty soccer shop elsewhere in town, so I leave and go there next.
At the specialty shop, I ask for the size in 3 or 4 different shoes styles, one at a time, only to have the salesperson go look and come back to say they don’t have them in stock. I ask if they have ANY in that size and the person goes off to search, only to come back and admit that no – that size isn’t available at all.
Frusterated, I leave and place an online order for the shoes from my phone in the parking lot. They appear on my doorstep a couple days later.
Could have saved a lot of time and gas not trying to purchase in-person.
I meant to relate that to these anti- theft measures but got carried away thinking about my most recent in-store shopping experience. 😄
With locked-up tools it feels much the same to me. If I have to go track an employee down to get a tool from a cabinet, unless it’s something I need that day, there’s a good chance I skip it and check it out online – even if I’m already in the store. Definitely cuts down on impulse purchases.
The “order online, pick up in-store” is a happy medium, because at leat I know what I want will be there when I arrive.
They should just go back to floor models and service counters.
My hometown hardware store (mom & pop operation) was very clear since they opened….
You do everything for the customer you can. Because if they leave to get the item elsewhere, they’re not coming back — and you better believe that’s not the only item they’re shopping for.
One someone is told to go online to shop, they’re not coming back to your store unless the store makes the effort to order & ship it. But most places won’t do that (too much effort) — or simply cannot, as their online division is a totally separate business entity than their retail storefront division.
Then they wonder why Amazon & other such businesses are getting money when the hometown shops aren’t — even my local Walmart instituted a $5.99 fee for in-store pickups under $35. They’re telling you….nay, screaming at you…”we don’t want your business.”
Are they also locking up or discontinuing bolt/lock cutters at these same stores that are attempting to lock and secure power tools? I imagine any sophisticated operation would simply bypass the lock and continue as usual.
For any legitimate power tool buyer the standard return policy is usually good enough to test and know if a tool will work for them. Brands like Dewalt go a far as saying “90-Day Money Back Guarantee: If you are not completely satisfied with the performance of your “DEWALT Power Tool”, Laser, or Nailer for any reason.” Securing power tools or any higher dollar value items from theft is not a new concept. It is however a nuisance for people that are legitimate buyers.
My local Lowe’s at the lumber yard/ pro check out will not except cash after 5:00 pm, since they have been robbed several times in the evening.
This is a good idea and would work fine if the stores are well staffed, but that has never been the case, and even less so these days.
Ha! It seems that many folks don’t want to work at lower paying jobs – like those at HD or Lowes. I hear all the time that it’s becoming more and more difficult to fill jobs. So, the sad joke may be that some folks would rather steal from HD than take and honest day’s wages from them.
People would rather make a living stealing than work for slave wages. Sad joke indeed!
Slave wages? They are paid a decent wage for an honest day’s work. A majority of those thst are crying about lower wages are entry level, menial tasked jobs.
It doesn’t matter. If you can’t even pay rent for a tiny apartment in a part of town where you at least won’t get robbed once a month then those jobs won’t find takers that aren’t bored kids who don’t care.
It’s amazing that we’re blaming the labor when even people like me who have an extreme hatred of collectivism can see there’s an imbalance between expectations and reality for decent pay by employers.
I don’t think the wages are low but the jobs aren’t the same as they used to be. Somewhere in the 90s these jobs changed from being salary+commisson jobs that could support a family to jobs that only retirees or college kids living at home can afford to work. Lowe’s in particular fired veteran employees then tried to hire them back to much lower paying positions.
I remember before the Internet the guy at the local hardware store was an encyclopedia of information. No days I won’t ask the clerks anything if I can avoid it. It’s a different class of employee. As long as we keep buying, they’ll keep doing it that way.
Off topic, I was very confused reading a comment by “Jared” that wasn’t me. I kept thinking: “I don’t remember writing this… is this what I think?” 😄
Took me a minute to realize that it was only written six hours ago and I definitely would remember that.
Back on topic, I can’t imagine trying to live on a minimum or low-paying job with today’s inflation unless I lived with my parents or already had my house paid-for. You start adding up rent (even split with a roomie), utilities, groceries, transit, and you still need to clothe and account for medical expenses… Not sure there would be anything left.
The solution is there in your comment. HD and Lowes need to pay a better wage (and treat their employees better) if they want to staff up. It’s a simple problem with a simple solution, and the employees aren’t the ones to blame.
Why should people want to work for minimum wage (or slightly above minimum — but not livable) with zero benefits in a high stress, high physicality job with inconsistent & unpredictable hours?
Granted part of that falls upon our government for not having the appropriate worker protections & social programs in place…but I never once fault the individual for that. They’re just trying to make ends meet.
You are absolutely correct. The pay structure at both HD and Lowes is way out of whack. Upper management has no problem cutting hours and benefits of store level staff so they can get bigger bonuses.
Lowe’s and HD offer decent wages for the type of work performed. The stores around here are offering as many hours as they want to work. They also have great benefits.
You don’t “get a living wage”, you live on the wages you earn. Not to mention that “a living wage” is nothing more than a political talking point. Learn how to live within your means. Cut out all ofnthe unnecessary garbage and you’ll be fine.
Most everything is locked up at most stores in in PDX and have been for a few years. The ones that actually have employees available are fine then, but places like the big box stores are thinly staffed enough that its a pain to get anything and I may as well just order online for cheaper.
Delta Park, Jantzen Beach, Mall 205… I know what you mean. Even as a paying customer you feel like a problem for them. One time at 205 they didn’t even have carts, if you can believe that, so I’m using a backpack to carry my things and getting tailed by loss prevention.
Then we go to a suburban store and get the celebrity treatment. Different world out there.
Home Depot stores here in Dallas have all wire behind locks now. Understandable as high price on small items but it is inconvenient.
The ones here in western washington did that awhile ago… But they’re the least-effective cages/locks I have ever seen. You can still just slide a 100′ roll out from under the bars and walk it to the register.
They added those theft-deterrant pucks to the hangers for the GFCI breaker blister packs as well, and one of the employees had to show me they don’t actually lock, they just make it take 15 seconds to pull the product down.
According to my local HD employees the crooks figured out that the smaller milwaukee power tools, like mechanic’s ratchets, the straight die grinder, soldering iron, and similar are small enough that they fit through the bars in the cage mesh
My HD was like this the last time I went there. It’s been a few months. I applaud them for coming up with a method of stopping tool theft. At the same time though, why even have a tool section if no one can actually get to any tools? It makes it less likely I think that people will actually buy their tools in the store because no one wants to have to wander around the store to find an employee.
I am much more likely to find what I am looking for, get frustrated, and then just order it from their website, or some other website.
Try buying solder.
Why? Is it commonly stolen? I’m not buying a lot of solder so I don’t know what you mean.
I can’t speak to the solder–I do buy electrical solder, but not very often and I get it online–but brazing alloy gets darn expensive, depending on the exact formulation it can easily be $50-100 an ounce. My local welding supplier keeps it behind the counter in a safe.
Well since many police depts have the new “catch & release” programs it’s about the only thing left to do .. me personally I’m all for when you catch a thief in the act you should be allowed to break his or her hand .. then make sure they cannot apply or receive any type of benefits or help .. I’m sure that sounds extreme but I have had a broken hand ..still recovering months later hurts like hell … something has to change ..
So how long until we go back to the Service Merchandise / Circuit City model where you pay in advance and then everything comes out on a Conveyor Belt behind the counter?
I was telling some of our newbies about Service Merchandise and they looked at me like i was crazy. Well why go there just order it off the internet.
K but what if you wanted to look at the item in question first?
mind bottling I guess. Last one around me closed sometime in 04-05.
The cards you take to checkout I can live with because there’s usually a “captive employee” at the checkouts. Chasing someone down to open up cages/cases is a huge turnoff, maybe having someone regularly available in the tool section would change that but it’s highly unlikely to happen. I find it frustrating enough that I prefer to just order online and have tools delivered if at all possible.
Home Depot also has locked storage on top of the isles (associate needs to climb the portable stairs to unlock). This may have been mentioned, but I didn’t see it. My experience has been a Home Depot associate usually calls another associate to assist you. They then unlock the item and escort the item to checkout. Always has been fast if the item is in stock. I guess the positive is that people actually get to talk to each other. While unlocking item, and walking you to checkout.
I feel like we’re back to the Montgomery Ward model of shopping. Maybe at this point that’s the way to go.
ALso yes my HD has most of the power tools caged in that the display shelf is there – hip height and under where you’d find the bin code and the box of the thing you want. Like say a dewalt drill box – that area has a wire cage lock on it. and there are 3 video camera on the isle that bing bong to tell you you are being seen. those have been there for a few years though.
The cage I think is new but how new I don’t know.
ALso ours hasn’t done the single aisle turnback to the checkout lanes like you show. I only see that crap at wallmart and at stores I hate. (homegoods, bed bath, etc)
I don’t so much buy power tools in store but I do look some. I admit places like CPO and Acme have ruined the idea for me but I’d hate for places like HD to disappear.
My Lowes has been doing this for a year, and God help you if you need actually get one out of there. Can barely find anyone and no one ever has or knows who has keys to the cabinets. Some of the Metabo tools now have tickets you take to the register, that seems like a better idea.
Exactly what I was going to say. Good luck ever finding a HD associate within 300yds to help.
Yeah, first time i encountered a lockup was during the 2021 holiday season. And honestly, it was kind of a horrible experience. I was purchasing an m18 router and got the free battery kit. It took me like 15 minutes to find the person with the key. The sales associate brought me up to the cash register, and the cashier was super rude and defensive. She called over the manager and made me show that my id matched my debit card. They almost didnt even let me make the purchase. I kind of feel that it was a little due to racial profiling, as im american, but of hispanic decent, and others around me were regularly making much bigger purchases of power tools, while i was held up there for another 20 minutes. I dont want to be that person, but it was the first time in my life i truly felt racially discriminated. Although i do realize that it was an isolated incident. I have bought a few other power tools since then at other locations, and its been pretty normal, other than having to hunt down the person with the key. I think a corral area with a single exit would work alot better. But thats just my opinion.
At least with the cages you can see that they actually have the thing you want. My HD has a sales ticket system for some of the smart light switches (new Lutron smart dimmer is only available at HD), which I’m less than enthusiastic about.
I attempted to buy one with a ticket because the website said they had some in stock at the store… but when the cashier can’t find the item at the cage at the front of the store after I’ve attempted to pay for it, it makes me feel like I’ve wasted a bunch of peoples’ time: my own, the cashier unable to find it, and everyone standing behind me in line.
With a ticket there’s no way for me to easily check when they actually have a thing to just go pick it up. I tried to order it afterwards and just got my order cancelled. It’s frustrating. It’s been a week or so so maybe I should try again?
I’m extremely put out with my local HD, to the point where I’m making an effort to shop elsewhere or order from Amazon or other online retailers. Reasons directly related to this post:
1) While I understand the financial concern of stolen tools, the cages are insulting and something I don’t agree with philosophically. They are penalizing 99% of their (good) customers because of the potential action of 1% (or some very small percentage, anyway). If they had a genuinely friendly, helpful employee stationed next to the cage and I wanted to look at something, I might *might* ask them to take something out for me. But trying to track down some downtrodden HD worker 3 aisles over and ask them to help? Not a frickin’ chance.
2) The checkout situation is exactly the same and again, I find it insulting. There is one entry point, and that’s fine. But at least at my local HD there are no fewer than 6 employees kind of loosely lined up at the entry point, not really greeting and not really doing anything except maybe one saying “Station 4 is open…” On some occasions they left me alone to check out, and on other occasions they come over and are sort of pushy, grabbing the scanner and are like “Oh Hey! Let me help you! ” ??? At first I was just confused and annoyed, like if it’s self check-out let it be self check-out. BUT then it clicked: They are watching for higher value items and/or sketchy people and if they think–for any reason–you are going to bag something w/o scanning it, they come over and “help” you.
All this to say: Screw you, Home Depot. I’ve spent a trainload of money in your stores over the years, I’ve never stolen anything, and now you want to decrease your customer service via self check-out and at the same time treat me like a potential thief under the guise of “Hey bud! Let me scan that for you!” Thank GOD for Amazon and our local Ace Hardware which operates on common sense.
They are just trying to keep your prices lower. Who do you think pays for all that stolen merchandise?
So if that strategy is successful we can expect prices to drop, since they won’t have to write off as much theft? That’s laughable. Retail theft (shrinkage) is accounted for separately and if they did reduce it they would simply report higher earnings, not decrease cost of goods sold.
Some Home Depots in my area (in Canada) have locked up tools for years. Others still don’t.
Our HD, City Mill, Ace Hardware, Walmart and Lowe’s have been locking up power tools for some time. The sign of the times though humbug for the rest of us. I’ve seen homeless people with backpacks stuffing power tools in them then walking out of the store.
My local HD put in tool cages last year. It’s a suburban community in an expensive area. The kind of place where people don’t lock their doors. (Dumb but people do it) I find it extremely annoying to search through a cage to find if what I want is even there. Then I have to go track down employee. Then they are required to follow me around like I’m some degenerate that’s going to run off with it.
I believe if people of good moral character took a firm stand and didn’t tolerate that looting, theft and general lawlessness is some sort of civil disobedience, protest or other such nonsense we would not have these problems. Theft is basic criminality nothing more.
Twice now, since the cages went up, I’ve unexpectedly needed to buy tools to complete a job so bough at local HD. I have complained and explained to the manager that I find it annoying the cages exist. Not because I don’t understand the reasoning. But rather that they do not pursue the thieves. Sure there’s liability but I imagine the extremely successful and thus wealthy and politically connected owner of Home Depot can lobby for indemnification for employees pursuing or preventing theft. They were able to get around all the hoisting license requirements the average guy has to have for HD employees running a forklift. So it certainly can be done. I encourage other folks to find it annoying to have to deal with these antitheft measures to express the same sentiment. Maybe something will change.
So you want people making a dollar more than min wage to risk their lives to protect the billion dollar company’s property? I have literally seen a thief take a hatchet off the shelf and use it to threaten people while he stole some more expensive items. I have seen employees maced and had guns brandished at them. Heck a homedepot loss prevention guy got shot in a las vegas store earlier this year. With all that, you feel the solution to your frustration having to wait 10 mins is for these poorly paid employees to be allowed to risk their lives for your convenience…… lol
I can’t speak for Bob here, and I don’t think the solution is that simple. But that said, I do feel there is a lot more at risk here than “a billion dollar company’s property”. What’s at risk is public safety and the rule of law, and those are very precious things. Society as a whole suffers if people simply ignore crime and handwave it away as “not my problem”. Theft drives up the price of merchandise for everyone. Refusing to address crime only emboldens criminals and makes the problem worse. When someone gets away with stealing a cart of merchandise from a store it’s not just a corporation feeling the sting, it is society in general. I couldn’t care less about having to wait 10 more minutes to get a tool–I’m jaded and I already expect that due to general employee incompetence–but you bet I care about the principle that stealing is wrong.
A buddy of mine used to work security / loss prevention at Home Depot, he was fired for stopping a thief. The theory was the thief could then sue because they were harmed during the process.
The locked up tools doesn’t bother me as much as the cameras in the wire and copper isles that constantly ding over and over.
I don’t buy anything from stores that do this unless I have literally no options. It takes too long to find a wage slave to unlock the cage. As if going to home Depot wasn’t already an annoying chore.
Man you sound like day to day life is just really inconvenient and off putting to you. You’ve spent more time typing replies here than you would waiting for a wage slave to unlock a tool for you. Maybe have a beer and chill the f out.
My Home Depot has cages for Dewalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi, and Makita. Hasn’t gone to the single point of entry for checkout yet though. While it’s a hassle to wait to find an employee to open the cage, I much prefer that to the RFID, blockchain heresy. I try to shop at my local Ace even though they usually cost more, but get frustrated at times at their limited selection. However, their employees are much more helpful.
I stopped going in the tool aisle after they overloaded with cameras on every vertical rack support. Constant ding dong in multiple directions with just me is annoying but when multiple customers are present and every one of them going off makes me walk out.
Locked tools is a turn off, I hardly can ever find an employee to help in Home Depot. Getting locked spray paint is time consuming with employees 10ft away. Getting wire cut by the foot is worse.
Take a ticket to cashier is also stupid. Checkout is already painfully slow, so unless the cashier has pile of product under the counter it will be even slower. This is one the reasons I never shopped at toy r us.
Last couple of tool purchases were at lowes which I dislike. I needed assistance twice and actually got easily.
Even here in California where they legalized theft, I would imagine HD has a larger problem with employee theft.
Unfortunately, locked cages are a sign of the times and probably the best means to deter large-scale power tool theft. I’m not a fan of the chip activation/deactivation idea and the cages would definitely decrease the likelihood of me purchasing power tools at Home Depot. I like to handle products before buying and tracking down an associate can be a hassle. I do wonder if the cages will provide a meaningful reduction in shrink, or just cause the theft problem to shift to other departments within the store? Home Depot has wide-open entry and exit aisles, large roll-up doors and a customer pickup lane a few feet from the door. This forklift-friendly store layout makes it easy for someone to quickly exit the store with a flat bed full of stolen merchandise, toss it in their vehicle and disappear into the night. Combine these factors with their no-chase policy and this makes Home Depot a no-brainer for thieves. I’m convinced the power tool cages will simply encourage thieves to switch to other high value items like Romex, electronic products or pluming fixtures and fittings. Unless HD addresses their physical store security gaps, people will continue to fill their carts and run as long as the opportunity exists and the risk of arrest and prosecution is low.
An HD associate here. We have had the cages in hardware for about a year and a half, and in garden for about a year. The cages are a definite hassle and alienate 99% of our customer base. The only upside is that I am more likely to have the product you are looking for because it was locked up. We do have floor models for people to handle, and, while those are on a locked cable, thieves manage to steal those too.
We recently installed cages and other protective methods in the electrical aisle at our store. The last inventory indicated losses over $200K just in wire. It’s ridiculous and the worst part about locking up the wire is that there is only one electrical associate in our store at any given hour of the day. While HD considers our store “over staffed” by hours counted, those of us on the floor always feel shorthanded.
I also agree that HD may need to consider a single entry/exit model similar to Costco or Ikea. One main entrance and one exit with an associate checking receipts at the door. The main problem with this model for HD will be Pro customers who are mainly contractors. They come in for large orders and expect to receive a specific type of service.
Personally, I don’t see a real solution to this problem. No matter what retailers do the main body of customers are inconvenienced. Thieves adjust to the chages quicker than retailers can make them, and those of us on the floor are moving as fast as we can to unlock cages and find missing product and still can’t seem to catch up.
P.S. Anyone wishing to voice a complaint about the lack of staffing, or beefs with cages and locks, should reach much higher in the chain than the store manager. They have no control over those measures. Corporate says “put a cage on it and staff one employee for four ailes” and the SM gets it done. No “ifs, ands, or buts”.
I don’t disagree with receipt checking, but many states don’t allow that after the transaction unless you have opted into that when signing up at your favorite warehouse.
Also another potential nuisance that can alienate legitimate customers.
But I to am happy when I go in and stock counts are correct, so overall I’m fine with the cages.
At least they finally started sending stores official caging, and didn’t make them resort to anymore home made EMT caging.
I would never buy a tool with some sort of electronic disablement that has to be activated. Tools need less chinese electronics to go bad, not more
Its all well and good to lock up your inventory, I get that. But sales will absolutely drop because both Lowes and HD in my experience never seem to have any staff floating around. If you make it a PITA to actually buy the tool, Im going to either just not bother with it, or buy it online, possibly from a competitor.
Anything that would have been an impulse purchase just became incredibly vulnerable.
Also, not for nothing, having staff more present in tool sections of the store would in and of itself likely deter theft.
My local HD and Lowe’s have both kept the majority of their power tools in cages as long as I can recall, at least 20 years. Sometimes, usually for seasonal deals like Black Friday, they’ll have the tools out in the isles on special displays but most of the time they are indeed locked up. Sometimes the tools are out on shelves but have those annoying electronic alarm buzzer things attached. Also, when you do ask to buy a tool, I’ve noticed that it’s about 50-50 whether or not the employee will take the tool to the register with you or will just hand it to you when you ask for it.
Its not just power tools that are locked up at my local HD & Lowes. I needed some NM cable and that was locked up in a cage as well.
Grab and run stealing is common everywhere
Just because it’s happening now doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened before. The world as we know it existed long before any of us were around.
25 years ago my local HD cashier, whom I was on first name terms with, told me they lost $50,000 a month in tools alone from that one store. People had be spotted wheeling out carts full of Tyvek, limping out with a sawzall down their pants, returning things they hadn’t paid for but just picked up off the shelves and gone to the return desk. One guy had a cart full of rolls of insulation and was calling out the barcode numbers to the cashier from ten feet away. Turns out inside his hay bale ride were half a dozen DeWalt circular saws. People would even return paint cans they’d used and refill them with a gallon of milk.
Blaming the pandemic (or pick your favorite bogeyman) is more than a little speculative.
Part of the problem is, I think, what Matt-E mentioned above. That, and we live in such a consumption-driven, soulless, “what’s in it for me” society.
Return scams are absolutely not new, I remember when I worked at Ace as a teen in the 90s we’d have customers try and pass off broken no-name hand tools as Ace tools and demand replacements. I also recall from one summer at Best Buy that the customer service department was very strict about opening and inspecting the contents of any return as it was apparently common for people to buy some kind of electronics (DVD player, VCR, stereo components, etc.), put their old one back in the box, and then attempt to return it.
as a former customer service person at BB, that is absolutely true. I never wanted to lose my job for taking a brick back for a laptop, which had happened elsewhere.
Though as much as it was making sure what was being returned was correct, it was also making sure it was working properly for resale, and doing that at that time made most sense (ie the store would run a salesman up to try to save the sale)
I would go and buy dremel accessories from time to time. Then they locked them up and I haven’t bought another piece from that store since. That was 20 years ago.
Are they padlocks with keys? They look like combination locks. Those are very easy to defeat. If there are no employees around they won’t stop anyone determined over 12 years old.
Can’t be as bad as Walmart.
Needed a headlight, mine burnt out at home that morning. Cops in our area are real sticklers. It was like 3pm, getting dark soon.
So…everything is locked up. I press the “Help” button. Nothing. I chase down two different people to help me, nothing. I finally went to the front service desk, told them I’ve been waiting 35 minutes — and they finally got someone with a key.
My time is worth something to me, I’d be better off spending $10 more at an Auto-Zone style store for the same exact product. With that delay and a few others, didn’t get home until 10pm that night. So much of what I ran out to get, I could have ordered online and had shipped to my home via UPS/Fedex at zero additional cost to me.
So, ask yourself again, why is retail failing?
Also, I’d be 100% onboard with locked tools instead of some goofy activation that’s tied to my identity/account which needs a mobile device next to it “to unlock”. That’s just one more thing to go wrong, and discriminates against those who don’t carry around a govt/corporate GPS tracker in their pants.
Personally, I’d rather lock up the items than go the route of “activating” the tools. It’s not convenient to wait for a staffer to unlock it, but if the activation route picks up steam then all tools will come that way whether you get them from HD or Amazon. And as someone who has made a living in technology and LOVES all things tech, I also know that this stuff never works the way you want. It might be relatively rare, but people will buy tools that don’t activate correctly. And the people who know what they’re doing will be able to hack it anyway.
I was reading a Reddit thread yesterday about how store employees cannot pursue or impede shoplifters because of insurance liability concerns. (A video showed six women pushing shopping carts out the door of a Walmart and to cars with obviously stolen plates) Seeing products locked up like this doesn’t mean they’re the most easily stolen, but that they are the most popular items to be stolen. My local HD has the more expensive stuff locked up, while the large items or blisterpack items are out on the floor. I don’t mind having the actual boxes locked up as long as sample tools are there, locked down, so I can physically check out the tool. Both HD and Lowe’s have enough employees around to find someone to unlock the cage.
Not uncommon nowadays. But I was surprised when I went into Walmart a couple weeks ago looking for just a mid grade pair of Sony earbuds. They were all locked in a glass case….even ones that cost $9.95.
So, I’ve seen this story from three sides. As a retired/disabled LE, an employee of one of the box home stores (barely above minimum wage) & a customer.
Police officers like justice; however, the courts are overrun with cases, as are the jails. So, the prosecutors office can’t handle all the cases, nor can the jails take all the crooks. I recalled hearing 10 years ago that the local Lowe’s store lost 1 million per year in theft. A current HD in the same town now loses 2 million a year. That is not the stores fault, it’s a society that wants something for nothing & are not willing to work hard. As LE, we were told that we could not arrest for certain crimes any longer. Organized retail theft has gone thru the roof, for example dozens of people getting together on the Internet & agreeing to all hit a store at once.
My smalltown store losses are about 1 million. The display items are non functioning & locked. They routinely get stolen anyways. Crooks come in with hidden bolt cutters, fill a cart with high dollar tools & exit with the cart.
They get a big box item (say a vanity) take the item out & fill the box with hand tools (a dozen Milwaukee wire cutters this week – the shelf was empty), they check out paying pennies on the dollar for what was supposely in the box. Employees are forbidden from touching them or blocking their path – you will be fired. LE is called; however the crooks are long gone & usually wire masks. The store can’t stay open if they don’t put measures in place. So. you go to Amazon & get the tool. I’ve received several items from them that were “new”, but obviously used… even to the point of not having the item in the package.
As a customer, I like being able to go into a local store, go hands on & compare items before I buy. I now understand why the store says they have 5 pairs of wire cutters in stock, but none are on the shelf. As our kids are not being taught right and wrong by their parents (and what’s cool by TV, music), it will only become worse.
I think you are correct, sadly. The worst part is no-one likes to think they are part of the problem. Everything is always someone else’s fault entirely.
I went to HD not long ago looking for a Klein micro screwdriver set (app said there were seven in stock). None on the shelf. Asked employee and she replied: “Oh, that one’s real popular with our shoplifters”.
They’re like that now in the St Louis suburbs too.
I also noticed last year at Lowes that all of their EGO blowers, string trimmers, and batteries were out of stock on ground level but piled high on the upper shelves, requiring an employee with a lift to get them.
I asked the employee about it, and they said it was to combat theft. Too many instances of theives filling up shopping carts in the middle of the day, running out the door, and booking it for the Illinois state line.
It’s appearing in more suburban stores, I found this at a smaller Home Depot in an area that historically would not be considered a high theft area. It’s a soft target. The store manager who had to unlock the tool case indicated $150K losses for their store in December 2022.
Compounding this is attempts at returning items stolen from other stores or shipments for store credit.
They even can check if the serial number is valid Home Depot item. It’s not 100%.
Separately, I encountered receipt checking (IE Walmart) at a Home Depot in another state. They had 3 people checking carts and receipts. A nice area, so a good soft target.
Retail theft is increasing. It affects their bottom line, earnings reports, inventory exposure, hiring choices, and can easily increase product prices.
A friend with a shop near Lowes lost 4 catalytic converters last week from their trucks. Its trying times. Once the stores toughen up crooks will look for next easy target.
Time to look more a hard target, avoid the hood, have nothing easy to take and fence easily or be able to fight.
I just got back from getting some screws at a local ACE hardware.
Walking by the power tools row, I noted they are also locking up their power tools, just like HD. This issue is not just the big box stores.
What state do you live in Stuart? I noticed some interesting trends in my area of California. I had a friend tell me that Walmart was locking up underwear but the one in my immediate area didn’t. I almost didn’t believe him but he wasn’t feeding me BS. I ended up visiting one 20 miles away and seeing photos online from other Californians – it turns out in some places like in (parts of?) LA County they DO lock underwear and other items up. It might be a case where some regions have exceptionally high rates of theft and this is a proactive measure. That or corporate decided that locking up high value items is the way to go after crunching the numbers…
Home Depot stores from Georgia to Louisiana to Virginia have had their tools behind locks for a while now. Lowe’s does the same. It’s sad, and would probably make for an interesting premise for an undergraduate paper or maybe even a thesis. I don’t know, I’m just an online 4-year Criminal Justice degree holder.
Society changed tremendously over the past few years, and 2020 seemed to be the Year of the Criminal…smash and grabs, massive looting, blatant shoplifting, and an increasingly “soft on crime” attitude from many politicians and prosecutors. The Haves (business owners and particularly large retailers) were viewed as being simply an obstacle to the Have Nots putting food on the table or, more likely, having those things they could never afford previously.
I work in a very heavily regulated department at a major retailer. Needless to say, firearms are not exactly a common item to lift from the local store, though there have been many instances of small gun shops getting rammed by a vehicle and looted. Even so, we commonly find items from duck calls to knives to higher end hunting camo missing. It’s a shame, but even such a niche market as hunting and fishing sees its share of shoplifting.
Power tools are in demand, expensive to buy for many people, and as such easy to sell at the “right” price. Before I took my current job I applied for Asset Protection positions at both Home Depot and Lowe’s. I still get emails notifying me about open positions, but I think I’ll stick to handling firearms tracking and paperwork at my current job.
Went to Lowes to buy some “pool tablets” but they were locked up. Waited for so long after asking for help, that I just left and went and bought some from Home Depot. With soft on crime policies, I am not surprised.
They lock everything up here, even tooth bushes and deodorant. I have found it’s best to place an online order for pick up so I don’t have to wait for someone to unlock everything.
I understand why some stores take a non-confrontational approach:
Also, an HD in my area tried using wire closet shelving to lock up their power tools. I’m glad to see doors designed for the purpose, even though they may not be foolproof.
I’m all for this, and even the “chips” that need ti be activated upon purchase. Why? Because it helps keep the cost down. It also makes it a bit more likely that the tool or other item I’m looking at online, that shows (5) in stock, will actually be in the store when I arrive to buy it.
The HDs around my house have been doing this for a while now. The one in downtown New Orleans has the worst reputation for theft. So much so that they have 1 police officer and 2 deputies in the store at all times. But that still doesn’t stop theft, especially of smaller items. This store even has that new gate at the entrance. If a cart gets close to the gate, it is supposed to lock. If the cart is still pushed through the gate, an alarm sounds. But no one working there does anything about it. While I have never been there when someone is stealing anything, I have seen customers push their cart through the gate and walk around to the CS desks. But again, none of the employees do anything after they push through the gate. Believe me, the gate is a joke, because you can just pit some force on it and it opens.
Regardless, I don’t mind this at all. Do I need to spend a few more minutes in there sometimes while I look for an associate to unlock the gate? Sometimes. But I am.smaet enough to account for that happening and don’t get frustrated over silly things.
Could they have at least one person dedicated to the cages? Absolutely. But in this area, all of the HD stores have a few TTI reps and at least one SBD rep in the tool department during normal business hours, that not only open the cages and escort your tools to the register, they sometimes make sure you have all of the accessories needed. So no, it isn’t a major inconvenience or reason not to buy from HD.
To tell you the truth, I’m also glad these deterrents are in place. I’d hate to be in there and have a bunch of stupid flash mob come running through, grabbing crap and running around like animals. I’d hate to be forced to protect myself as I felt threatened… after all, it is a hardware store, with plenty of sharp objects at my disposal.
Parents need to bring back, the belts, canes, and chanclas and start whooping behinds, until they get rid of any antisocial behavior on their offspring. And the government should reinstate corporal punishment . You get caught stealing something, you get a whooping, and get sent to vocational/trade school. 😆
Maybe it’s just a lament of my 80+ years of living – but I think it is more complicated than just disciplining our children. It might start with teaching them right from wrong and then showing them that there are consequences (not just corporal ones) for both bad and good decisions/actions.
As a society, we seem to have drifted away from or even lost the sense of a moral compass. We see lying, stealing and corruption all around us and soon become inured to their impact. It is not just a thing about religion or faith in the Almighty – but a lack of the sense of human decency in parts of our society.
Many comments hint about some of the possible underlying causes of the recent spate of thievery. The pandemic, lack of good jobs, changes in our criminal justice system, poverty, child rearing, online fencing of stolen goods etc. have been mentioned. But I suspect that while these are contributors, they are not the whole story.
I think that we need to assess our values as a society.
Based on what we pay sports figures and entertainers – I believe that we value entertainment more than most other things. We also seem to value low prices – and push manufacturers, service providers and retailers to deliver them. If we invest in the stock market, we value ever increasing profits. So. these and our other actions have collateral results that we do not like. Some of this has resulted in imbalances (like jobs moving offshore and poor wages at retailers) that we decry.
It does not have to be this way. We need to move the needle once again on our compass. The good news is that my experience says that we will take corrective actions – and imperfect as they may be – we will weather this storm – ready to face a new set of challenges.
The worst part. The bars, cages, locks are reactive to external instability and the root causes not addressed. This is why Walgreens is shutting down stores in San Francisco. I miss the freedom to shop liberally through power tool section at Home Depot rather than feel like prison. From a loss control perspective bars and cages are more expedient and cost less than armed security guards. We all lose in the end.
Not just tools, copper wire too. It’s very annoying trying to het any of these items, since staff is often unavailable or unable (” I don’t have the keys”) to unlock the gates.
I believe home depot is on the way out. They can’t even afford checkers at the front. Service has gone. I quit shopping there as I do not work there so no one to check out my cart.
I worked at Macys and Hechts in Loss Prevention between 1999 and 2006. This is not a new phenomenon. We had weekly brazen walk-in/run-out theft of high end products (Nautica and DKNY and Polo back then).
What’s new is the ubiquity of everyone carrying a video camera in their pocket and a media ecosystem dedicated to creating a panic over crime (which I’ve noticed even on Fox, the “crime wave” reporting has dropped significantly since the midterms).
Even on benign local news, crime is always going to be a lead story and will drive perception of a lawless society when the facts do not bear it out in most cases / places.
I too worked Loss Prevention at JC Penney back in the late 90’s. Back then you were allowed to do the job they hired you for.
I personally blame lawyers and politicians for giving criminals more rights than they should probably be allowed to have. They will do literally anything for a buck or a vote.
I’m fine with this, but they need buttons to page employees to come get stuff for you rather than you have to wait around for 15+ minutes for an employee to show up or have to go hunting around. I needed something from the locked cabinet at Lowe’s recently and tried to get the closest register sitter to page someone to help me. She not so politely told me to wait in line. Then after I waited in line for 10 minutes and got up there and told here what I needed, she (and I shit you not) told me I shouldn’t have waited in line to tell her that.
Home Depot intends to lock everything behind a gate. Theft is ridiculous and you can expect this trend to continue. Everyone will have to adapt.
They did the same at my local HD in Canada
They are just pushing people to do more business online. It’s more profitable for them and that’s why they don’t care about making an in-store customer’s shopping experience slightly worse. They spend a lot on customer acquisition and they wouldn’t jeopardize anything for a measure that might make very little difference in their theft-related losses. A store making 50 million or more sales a year can deal with 3% loss. They are betting they will keep the customer online and have a higher margin. That is why they are implementing it everywhere. The cages are expenses they can write off.
Thieves will work around the cages. A thief is not going to see the light because there’s a padlock there. They will go get a wrench from the next aisle. The overall amount of crime has little to do with security measures. Thieves have needs too and even though they are scum I prefer they feed on multi-billion dollar corporations than anyone else.
It’s like the store version of going work to go broke. If it’s harder for me I’ll just go elsewhere. It’s why good Instagram ads work so well. Get me in with an ok idea and there is an Apple Pay box where I just click on it and it does everything for me, SOLD! Amazon, Ohio Power tool, Acme Tools, and McMaster Carr make it easy and are usually here in a day or two. Rarely do we need anything that urgent. Make friends with your local places too. Even if the smaller tool shops lock things up they usually are much more willing and happy to get you something than being escorted to the register and not being allowed to touch your stuff.
If I have to get things from there and I know they’ll be locked up, I’ll do an online order for pick up, so then they have to do the work of finding it and bringing it up. I can just drive up and get it out of the locker.
Home Depot is really becoming the Walmart of home improvement and I avoid Walmart at all costs! And I used to work there and still have stock in the company.
I don’t mind them locking things up. Theft just passed on to the customer. I find it funny they lock up 14-2 and 12-2 but not 14-4. It’s not people selling copper. It’s people doing inspected work. If it was just beaner work for someone they know they could use other wire
If it’s just what kind of work?? Seriously dude?
Home depot had to do this. There are “organized crime rings” that are walking off with 100s to 1,000s of dollars worth of tools at a time. It isn’t just a crackhead walking off with a tool or roll of electrical wire.
Locking up tools and wire has greatly reduced the amount of loss due to theft.
Literally every Home Depot and Lowes in California has done this for years now. It is extremely annoying. They would get flash mobs of like 20 people who would hit the shelves all at once and run with high dollar items. It is almost impossible to find an associate to unlock a tool for you. And when they do, they can not hand you the tool. They have to take it to a cashier to hold the tool until you show up to pay. I would much rather have the tool RFID locked and deal with it at the register than spend half an hour trying to flag down an associate.
There is so much whine here one would think it was a cheese blog and not a tool blog!
It can be inconvenient, but businesses are not charities and have to do what they need to do to be able to stay open.
I find it better to deal with a mild inconvenience than have the stores close.
This is generally a very useful and interesting site for me (and many others, I’m sure!), but I believe you’ve gone ‘way off topic with this one.
Home Depot may next start having roving security people, or someone at the exit who checks your receipt (like Costco does).
What does that have to do with tool availability, quality, functionality, performance or cost? My point is, I don’t see this topic as relevant to the overall purpose (at least to me) of this blog.
Respectfully, this is very much on-topic. I regularly post about brand acquisitions and retail happenings. This isn’t much different.
Tool industry trends are interesting, not to mention important to follow. If you disagree, I won’t be offended if you skip those posts.
Here, I was surprised by the changes Home Depot made in my area, and reported on it.
I added additional examples for context, but few opinions overall. For the opinions I shared, I aimed to be fair and neutral.
I was also curious to see if it’s a nationwide initiative. What better way to find out than to ask readers?
You all sound like a bunch of [redacted]
If you cannot contribute to a conversation without being abusive towards others, then your comments aren’t welcome. This goes for everyone.
Regular commentors on thin ice are sent to manual moderation for a stretch, more egregious and repeat offenders are sent directly to the block list.
It is possible to disagree and criticize in a respectful manner.
I’d far rather have to find an associate (which can actually be a big issue) to unlock the cage than deal with RFID-enabled tools – because I would be surprised if things don’t go wrong with that and buyers wind up with bricked tools. The more potentially annoying loss control practice is that if the tool is over a certain value, which is relatively low, the associate has to walk it up to the checkout, which can only be done if the next thing you plan to do is pay for the tool. I’ve learned to make that my last stop, but it’s a little vexing because there’s no indication when that policy will apply and when it won’t.
The slightly humorous thing is that at the HD store I shop at most frequently nearly all of the cages are open at the back, so it would be easy to reach in from the other side of the aisle and grab one of the tools.
In California, anything under $1000.00 they do not even call police anymore. It’s just a misdemeanor. There are some folks who’s “job” is to go to stores and steal. Or maybe I should say they treat it like a job almost. It’s unfortunate, but reality these days.