Walmart’s CEO has warned that theft is at “historically high” levels and admitted it could lead to price hikes.
Doug McMillon also revealed that persistent shoplifting could lead to stores closing.
He told CNBC Squawk Box that theft remains a problem for the big retailer.
He added: “It’s higher than in the past.”
McMillon criticized the approach prosecutors appear to have taken in response to alleged crimes.
He feared customers could be negatively impacted as prices could rise and stores could close.
Walmart is estimated to lose up to $3 billion a year to theft, according to Reuters.
Walmart is among the stores that have stepped up their security efforts to combat theft.
TikToker shared images showing beauty products behind glass.
Meanwhile, Target CEO Brian Cornell, Target’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “Along with other retailers, we have seen a significant increase in theft and organized retail crime across our business.
“As a result, we are making significant investments in training and technology that can prevent theft and keep our guests and team members safe.”
Walmart is known for its serious approach to fighting shoplifting, and some have accused it of being “overzealous.”
Criminal defense attorney Ralph Manginello warned, “If you’re caught shoplifting at Walmart in Texas, you face larceny charges.”
In Texas, shoplifters can be charged with anything from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.
Manginello warned that customers should not “expect” fees to be dropped.
The Sun reported how custody assistant John Reed was accused of stealing from a Walmart store in Mulberry, Florida.
He is said to have attempted to steal two hoverboards, two hovercars and a Christmas projection lamp.
Further investigation revealed that Reed allegedly stole nine times from the same Walmart store between November 4 and December 3.
In total, investigators have charged Reed with taking $575 worth of items.
Reed reportedly resigned from his position immediately after his arrest.
He was charged with eight counts of petty theft, one count of property acquisition fraud, one count of gross fraud and one count of petty theft ranging from $100 to $750.
Reed was hired as a corrections officer at the Polk County Jail in 2004.
According to deputies who spoke to Click Orlando, he quit his job in 2012 but returned in 2021.
And Bevals Aleen Hinton, 45, was arrested after paying just $74 for $424 worth of items.
According to The Villages-News.com, the products allegedly stolen from Hinton were mostly groceries and household goods.
Cops said she took her cart full of groceries to the store’s self-checkout area and only scanned the $74 worth of products she had.
She then allegedly wheeled the full cart to the exit without paying for the other $350 items.
Police continue to search for 22 suspects accused of stealing products from a Walmart store in Whitehaven, Memphis on November 20.
Officers said some of them were armed when they entered the supermarket.
According to FOX13, no shots were fired and the suspects fled the scene in around 20 cars.
And a woman is accused of stealing $1,000 worth of jewelry from a Walmart store in Colonial Heights, Virginia.
Cops have claimed they broke into a display on November 1 before stealing the jewelry and exiting the store.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6859984/walmart-historically-high-theft-changes-customers/ Walmart warns that “historically high” theft means two big changes — and that’s not good news for customers