Major retailer launches ‘invisible’ project to render theft useless and buck Walmart’s ‘locked up’ trend

A HUGE retailer has launched a new project as part of its anti-shoplifting efforts.

Lowe officials believe their “invisible” program is an alternative to strategies at companies like Walmart, which lock goods in cabinets or store them behind Plexiglas.

Retailers have resorted to locking items in cabinets to combat shoplifting (warehouses).


Retailers have resorted to locking items in cabinets to combat shoplifting (warehouses).Photo credit: Getty
Developers at hardware giant Lowe's have come up with an


Developers at hardware giant Lowe’s have come up with an “invisible” anti-theft projectPhoto credit: Getty

Computer chips will be used as part of the home improvement giant’s new Project Unlock program, Retail Leader revealed.

Tags are added when crafting items such as power tools.

However, the drill will only work if it has been scanned at checkout.

This means stolen items cannot be launched, effectively rendering them useless.

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Seemantini Godbole, Lowe’s Executive Vice President, Chief Digital and Information Officer, said, “We see a future where technologies like Project Unlock can help the ecosystem create a great environment for our customers.”

Bosses have said the process is “largely invisible” to buyers.

Developers at Lowe’s Innovation Labs have revealed that blockchain technology is being used to keep a record of items purchased.

The publicly accessible database is a useful tool for dealers and police officers when it comes to verifying purchased and stolen items.

Developers say, “Often thieves try to resell stolen goods to individuals and secondary marketplaces.”

They added: It “reduces the economic incentives to engage in retail theft in the first place.”

Retailers have tried a number of strategies when it comes to dealing with theft.

In December, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC that shoplifting was more common than “in the past.”

McMillon feared customers could be negatively impacted if the crimes continued.

He warned, “If this is not corrected over time, prices will go higher and/or stores will close.”

Walmart has resorted to storing items in closets or behind plexiglass, sparking anger from shoppers.

Products ranging from pregnancy tests to socks are among the items that have been locked away.

A California woman claimed that the policy change made it “impossible” to shop.

Taking to Twitter, she raged: “Everything is under lock and key like we’re all thieves.

“You’ll have to show a servant around to unlock the closet if you want eye shadow. Ridiculous.”

TikToker and influencers have shared footage online showing items such as mascara locked in boxes and dozens of beauty items stored behind Plexiglas.

Rex Freiberger, of Los Angeles, told Reuters that he was finding more and more items behind Plexiglas during his holiday shopping at Walmart.

But he was particularly frustrated when his local branch was understaffed.

He said: “My biggest frustration with having so many items behind closed doors is when stores don’t have enough workers on the floor to unlock those doors.”

Target buyers have also blasted the policy of locking some items in cases.

The technology is also being used by the two retailers as part of anti-theft efforts.

The US Sun also reported how Walmart partnered with AI company Eversen and rolled out improved technology in its stores in 2017 – years before the two companies were locked in a legal battle.

The lawsuit was “amicably settled” in December 2021, an Eversen spokesman said.

And retailers like Target and Walmart use carts equipped with auto-locking technology.

It can be confusing for buyers to understand why their buggy stopped so abruptly, but the actual technology in the buggy’s wheels is simple.

A cable is hidden underground at the edge of the store.

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Once the cart reaches this perimeter, the cable wirelessly activates a motor in the wheel.

The motor cranks a series of gears that push out a set of teeth that locks the wheel in place. Major retailer launches ‘invisible’ project to render theft useless and buck Walmart’s ‘locked up’ trend


DevanCole is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DevanCole joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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