The idea, according to Lowe's, is the process is largely invisible to the consumer. The second part of the equation is transparent purchase records — a publicly available anonymized list of legitimately purchased items that will help retailers, manufacturers and law enforcement determine whether a product has been stolen. Lowe's said resellers, for example, can check the database to ensure they aren’t buying a stolen good. Lowe’s said the database would not contain personal information.
“We see a future in which technologies like Project Unlock can help the entire retail ecosystem create a great environment for our customers,” said Seemantini Godbole, Lowe’s executive VP, chief digital and information officer.
According to 2020 data from the National Retail Federation (NRF), organized retail theft represents a $700,000 cost for every $1 billion in sales. Overall, 88% of retailers surveyed said the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in increased risk for their businesses, with a rise in theft and e-commerce fraud, according to NRF’s 2022 National Retail Security Survey.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said earlier in December that retail theft could lead to big changes for its stores and customers, including higher prices and store closures, CNBC reported. Target’s Chief Financial Officer Michael Fiddelke in November said shoplifting at its stores had increased about 50% compared to last year.