TARGET shoppers have railed against theft deterrent measures introduced in stores.
Angry customers claimed the strategies have turned shopping into a game of “Where’s Waldo?”
Target is among retailers like The Home Depot and Walmart that have implemented anti-theft measures. One of these guidelines is to lock items in closets.
Shopper Sydney Burgmann told the CBS affiliate in Seattle KIRO: “It doesn’t make it a fun and happy shopping experience.”
Customers have expressed anger that the policies have made the shopping experience more inconvenient.
Mickey Dupuy, a fellow Target shopper, has claimed that shoplifters are flogging stolen goods on the street.
Dupuy said, “They look for things like this because they get a good deal on the prices in stores. “You can buy detergent on the street for $5.”
A Target spokesperson told KIRO that the company has taken a “multi-layered” approach to combating theft.
They said this approach includes training staff, using technology and working with police.
Target CEO Brian Cornell warned in a conference call that theft and violence were “moving in the wrong direction.”
He said thefts were up 120 percent in the first five months of the year.
In May, Cornell said it expected to lose about $500 million in profits due to organized retail crime.
But in August bosses said losses from organized retail crime were “stabilising”.
Target CFO Michael Fiddelke said: “So far we have only seen signs that loss rates may soon plateau, but no signs yet that loss rates will begin to decline.”
Executives have warned that the $500 million loss figure will not change at this time.
Target bosses aren’t the only big chain executives who have warned about the impact of retail theft.
Richard McPhail, chief financial officer of The Home Depot, described the contraction as “ongoing pressure” in recent quarters.
He said: “This is something we deal with every day.”
John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart US, said shrink has “increased somewhat” this year.
Ted Decker, the CEO of The Home Depot, called organized retail crime “a big problem.”
He said CNBC’s Squawk Box: “It’s no longer the random shoplifter.”
Meanwhile, Bob Nardelli, the former CEO of The Home Depot, called organized retail crime “an epidemic that is spreading faster than Covid.”
According to a paper from the magazine, retailers lost $94.5 billion in 2021 National Retail Association.