The Home Depot to Sell Tools That Only Work if Activated

The home improvement super store is launching a plan to sell power tools that will only work once activated at a register.

Shoplifting is on the rise across the country. Organized retail crime operations are in full swing during the pandemic, with nefarious groups recruiting people to enter stores and steal items that are then sold on online marketplaces. Whereas eBay was once the primary site to fence stolen goods, thieves now have dozens of outlets. These theft rings cost retailers an average of $719,548 per $1 billion dollars in sales.

To combat this rise, stores are resorting to new tactics to thwart would-be thieves. The Home Depot has partnered with manufacturers to sell power tools that require Bluetooth activation when purchased. That means if a thief walks out with a power saw, it can’t be turned on, rendering it useless. This way a retailer can keep oft-stolen items on display instead of locking them up.

Scott Glenn, The Home Depot’s vice president of asset protection, told Insider  he didn’t want to alter the shopping experience for the 99.5 percent of customers who come in to honestly purchase their goods. “We don’t want to look like an armed encampment,” Glenn said.

Shay Tilander
Shay Tilander is a senior editor at Family Handyman. When he's not enjoying family time with his wife and three boys, he loves tinkering with projects and geeking out on electronics.