Walmart and Target Anti-Theft Measures Could Be "Final Nail in the Coffin," Shoppers Say
The latest moves made by these retailers have pushed some customers over the edge.
Retailers and shoppers are reaching a breaking point over one major problem: theft. Companies claim that organized retail crime (ORC) has increased significantly over the last few years, and that the resulting retail shrink is negatively impacting their bottom line. In an attempt to push back against shoplifters, stores have been implementing new anti-theft measures—but customers say that it's become harder to shop than ever before.
Recently, Walmart and Target in particular have put in place new anti-theft measures that seem to have pushed some customers over the edge. The two retailers have started to lock up underwear and socks at some of their stores around San Francisco, NBC Bay Area reported. One customer said he had to wait 10 minutes for a Target employee to unlock a case just so he could buy some boxers.
This latest development in the fight against shoplifting has sparked outrage among shoppers.
"I swear locking up merchandise especially frivolous things [like] cheap underwear will be the final nail in the coffin for brick and mortar retail," one person wrote in a Jan. 13 X post. "Criminals are getting off scot-free while consumers pay the price."
Best Life reached out to both Walmart and Target about the complaints against them locking up underwear and socks at certain stores, and we will update this story with their response.
But these are hardly the only major retailers that have faced backlash for their anti-theft measures. Read on for four more companies that have been criticized for what they're doing to stop shoplifting.
Back in November, a CVS store in Washington, D.C., was called out for replacing products on its shelves with framed photos in an attempt to combat shoplifters.
"Apparently the CVS on H Street is also having to put their toilet paper in the back to stop it from being stolen," the caption of an Instagram post from @washingtonianprobs reads. "Instead they have photos of what's in stock."
In the comment section, other consumers admitted that this would keep them from buying anything in the store. "Not gonna lie… I go shopping and see this, I'm walking right back out," one person replied. "I'll keep my dignity."
The other top drugstore chain in the U.S. has also faced backlash for some of its unique anti-theft measures. Last July, a San Francisco Walgreens store went viral for chaining up its entire freezer section.
"Locking everything up is ridiculous," one customer responded. "I wouldn't shop there."
Dollar General has recently announced plans to pull back on self-checkout, partly because these kiosks could be contributing to higher levels of theft. In fact, one Dollar General store even put up a sign that read, "Due to dishonesty, self-checkout is closed."
But even this type of anti-measure isn't sitting well with shoppers. "No self-checkout isn't gonna stop people from shoplifting at Dollar General," an X user wrote.
It's not just drugstores and dollar stores. Even Home Depot has found itself in hot water over its anti-theft measures.
"I'm in New Mexico and went into a Home Depot and was so disgusted by the basic items locked behind chicken wire and the security cameras and screens on nearly every shelf that I just walked out and may never go back," an X user wrote on Jan. 8.