Walmart Is Locking Up Products Under $10, and Shoppers Are Outraged
The retailer is being called out over its strict security measures.
If you're one of the millions of consumers who regularly shops at Walmart, you probably rely on the mega-retailer for its product selection, relatively low prices, and overall convenience. For some customers, however, the question of convenience is up for debate. Walmart's strict security measures have even its most loyal shoppers frustrated, with some now calling out the company for taking things too far. Read on to find out which low-price products Walmart is locking up, and why customers have had it.
Retailers have been locking up more and more products lately.
Retailers have been sounding the alarm over a rise in shoplifting for some time now.
During a Senate hearing in Nov. 2021, Ben Dugan, director of organized retail crime (ORC) and corporate investigations at CVS Health, testified that the company had been losing more than $200 million each year due to ORC, a number that reflected a 300 percent increase in theft since the start of the pandemic.
Both Walgreens and Walmart have also spoken out about the shoplifting surge, prompting all three retailers to lock up products as a result. During The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit in Dec. 2022, Walgreens' CEO said the company was focusing on securing entire product categories instead of just specific high-price items. And Forbes reported that Walmart had started testing new types of locked cases last year that can only be opened by employees using a smartphone.
But shoppers facing these new security measures have some complaints.
Customers are calling out Walmart over certain locked-up items.
Customers have shared complaints about locked-up products in the past, and Walmart is now in the hot seat once again.
TikTok user Talya, who goes by the username @partywithtal, posted a video on Jan. 6 about her recent experience at one of the retailer's locations. "Y'all so I'm at Walmart because I get my mascara from here right. And they got the locks on the mascara—these are like no more than $10," she said, showing price tags that read $8.98.
The shopper said after asking a worker to unlock the mascara, the employee then placed it in a locked box before giving it to her. "Why'd she give me the mascara in this box? Don't nobody want to steal this mascara," Talya said, captioning her video with the statement "They outta line."
Talya is not the only shopper speaking out.
Talya's video has since gone viral, racking up over 300,000 likes in four days. And it turns out she's not the only customer outraged by Walmart's stringent security measures.
Other shoppers have also taken to social media to speak out against the retailer. "It's OH SO FUN waiting 15 minutes for an associate to come open a case….for a beard brush," one Twitter user posted Dec. 28. "Seriously? It's under $10. Why the hell is that locked up?! Why did it take so long for an associate to come to unlock it?"
Another user tweeted that Walmart is doing the same to pregnancy tests in their area. "No pregnancy test where I live is under $10, even Walmart keeps them locked [and] you have to ask for them," they wrote on Dec. 27.
Walmart's CEO recently doubled down on retail theft concerns.
Best Life reached out to Walmart about customer complaints over locked-up products, but has not yet heard back.
The retailer may not be backing down any time soon, however. During a Dec. 6 interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon discussed the recent pressure of skyrocketing shoplifting. "Theft is an issue," he said. "It's higher than what it has historically been."
According to McMillon, the company has put in different "safety measures, security measures" in different store locations. But the CEO also threatened other changes if theft doesn't get more manageable. "If that's not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and/or stores will close," McMillon said.