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04/11/2022

Walgreens expands partnership with Alto US to reduce crime

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Walgreens is broadening its effort to address theft and organized retail crime across its stores.

Walgreens is focusing on crime prevention as it looks to reduce theft in its stores.

The pharmacy retailer said it is expanding its effort to address theft and organized retail crime across more than 2,200 stores nationwide in partnership with Alto US, a provider of loss prevention and tech-enabled security services. The Alto solution has been used across approximately 500 Walgreens stores since 2019.

In the stores where Walgreens has partnered with Alto, theft has been by nearly 30%, according to Todd Lyle, VP of asset protection solutions at Walgreens.

The solution puts Alto’s “customer success specialists” in Walgreens stores to foster collaboration between team members, law enforcement, prosecutors and community members.  The effort is not only aimed at preventing crime, but also helping to identify and assist in the prosecution of crime suspects.

“Retail crime is one of the top challenges facing retailers today,” said Lyle. “Alto shares our commitment to provide a safe environment for our patients, customers, and team members. Our expanded partnership with Alto compliments our asset protection and operations teams while directly supporting 2,250 stores and communities we are honored to serve.”

Walgreens noted that retail crime has evolved beyond shoplifting and petty theft to the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods online, with unregulated, online marketplaces and third-party sellers giving criminals additional means to sell stolen and legitimate goods. On Walgreens’ earnings call in January, CFO James Kehoe.  said that organized crime has helped to increase shrink 40% to 50% "over the last two years."

The company is advocating for the passing of the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act, which would require online marketplaces to collect and verify third-party sellers’ government ID, tax ID, bank account information and contact information, and require high-volume sellers to disclose that contact information to consumers.

[Read More: Business group tells Congress: Retail theft a ‘national crisis’]

“Our partnership with the Walgreens team has dramatically impacted loss prevention and reduced theft but more importantly, our solutions have empowered their team members to collaborate with their communities to report theft and reduce crime,” said Cristián López, CEO of Alto US.  “At Alto, we put people first. And it takes our team members, retailers, law enforcement, attorneys, and community members all working together and supporting the mission to make what we do a success.”

Walgreens operates nearly 9,000 stores across America, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.