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T.J. Maxx staff to start wearing body cameras to prevent thefts

“When somebody comes in, it’s almost like a de-escalation where people are less likely to do something when they’re being videotaped,” CFO John Joseph Klinger stated

Easter-Stores Open-Closed

FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2019, photo shoppers enter a T.J. Maxx in Harahan, La. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Gerald Herbert/AP

By Francisco Velasquez
Quartz

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — T.J. Maxx thinks fashioning its employees with police-like body cameras will help it keep its inventory and customers safe.

John Joseph Klinger, CFO of the retailer’s parent company TJX Companies, said during the company’s earnings call in May that he predicts the tactic will led to reduced levels of shrink this year, according to a FactSet transcript. Shrink is an industry term that refers to the overall loss of any inventory, including shoplifting.

“When somebody comes in, it’s almost like a de-escalation where people are less likely to do something when they’re being videotaped,” Klinger told investors during the company’s recent earnings call, adding that the discount retailer started using the cameras late last year and “definitely feels that they’re playing a role.”

Klinger said that TJX, which owns HomeGoods and Marshalls, is “highly focused on shrink.” TJX is focused on ensuring T.J. Maxx is protecting its goods as well as “making sure that customers can shop easily,” he added.

Whether the body cameras will reduce theft at T.J. Maxx remains to be seen. Klinger, a decades long employee of TJX, said that when the company looks at its shrink results at the end of the year, it will then be able gauge what worked and what didn’t. The company will then decide on its plans for 2025, he added.

Nonetheless, TJX’s ramp-up in security didn’t impact sales T.J. Maxx and its sister stores. Inflation weary consumers, on the hunt for bargains, buoyed TJX’s sales across all of its banner stores — which pushed TJX’s stock up to a record high.

Ernie Herrman, TJX’s chief executive, told investors during its earnings call in May that the company “flexed” its store assortments and leaned into categories that consumers were looking for.

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This article was originally published in Quartz.
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