Walmart, CVS & Walgreens lock products away to stop shoplifting


And shoppers are not happy about it

Retailers have been having a hard time since the start of the pandemic. Not only did online shopping affect their sales, inflation caused a lot of locations to close their doors due to a change in shopping habits. But shoplifting appears to be a huge problem too; a hundred billion dollar-problem. And the stores have taken measures.

Lock and key

If you want to fight shoplifting, making the products less accessible would be one way to do it. And that is just what stores like CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid have been doing. A lot of products are locked away in cases with no way to access them other than asking an employee to open the case and get the item out. Measures were needed, according to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. During an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, he said that “Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been.” The surprising part is that retailers aren’t dealing with ‘regular’ shoplifting. Mark Mathews, vice president at the NRF told Forbes that it’s “organized crime”.

And that is why stores are not just locking away the more expensive items. According to an article of Best Life, even shampoos, conditioners and soda has been under lock and key.


But this new policy could pose a different problem: shoppers are frustrated and annoyed by the fact that they have to ask employees to get their soda bottles out. Social media is flooding with complaints and Insider spoke to a customer from Arizona who said they refrained from buying certain items just because of the new security system. He said: “I always found it difficult to find a staff member to come unlock them,”

But the solution does not only frustrate customers, it might also negatively impact sales. Joe Budano, CEO of Indyme said that locking up products could lead to a decrease in sales. He told Forbes that there usually is a 15-25 percent decline in sales and that the solution is one of “last resort”.

Time will tell if the stores will revert to different (less frustrating) measures in the future.

Also read: This tip will help you save money on your groceries

Source: Best Life, Insider | Image: Unsplash, Sachina Hobo