Home Depot executives are facing backlash for blaming the recent rise in theft at its stores and warehouses to the opioid crisis.
Chief executive officer Craig Menear said in a call with investors yesterday, "This is happening everywhere in retail. We think this ties to the opioid crisis, but we're not positive about that."
He added that thieves recently stole $16.5 million worth of goods from a warehouse shared by multiple retailers. That resulted in a loss of about $1.5 million for Home Depot.
Home Depot said it expects theft, opioid-related or not, to contribute to a smaller profit margin next year.
The company didn't add any proof or studies and almost immediately faced criticism online.
The company said in the investor call that it is initiating several pilot programs to try to safeguard high-priced items and technology that would lower theft.
Home Depot blames rise in thefts in stores, warehouses to opioid crisis