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Inside the top seven anti

Aug 21, 2023

SHOPLIFTING has become a major problem for the likes of Target and Walmart in recent years.

Bosses at major retailers have warned that theft-related incidents could affect shoppers long-term.

Last month, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon admitted that theft has been at a historically high level.

He told CNBC: “If that’s not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and/or stores will close."

Shocking statistics from the National Retail Security Survey 2022 revealed that almost $ 100 billion was lost from shrinkage.

The U.S. Sun looks at the strategies that have been adopted by major retailers as part of efforts to clamp down on theft.

Walmart and Target have resorted to storing items behind plexiglass or locking away goods in cabinets.

The U.S. Sun previously reported that products ranging from pregnancy tests to socks are among the items that have been put under lock and key.

And, the policy has sparked fury among customers.

One woman, from California, claimed it’s “impossible” to shop because of the policy change.

She raged on Twitter: “Everything is under lock and key as if we're all thieves.

“You have to take around an attendant to unlock the cabinet when you want eye shadow. Ridiculous.”

Another furious customer shared an image that showed underwear and socks stored in a cabinet.

A shopper recalled that they had to go through an awful amount of trouble to purchase makeup that cost $2.

Target has also come under fire for implementing the policy.

One outraged shopper branded the company “evil” after spotting that hygiene products have been locked away.

A TikToker, known as “sanctumrelic,” claimed that the policy of locking certain items away is “discriminatory”.

He fumed: “This is not security, it’s merely just evil.”

In the tirade, he said people should be able to afford to buy hygiene products that are necessary to keep themselves and their kids clean.

Boxes of toothpaste and bottles of moisturizer were among the items locked away.

Lupita Herrera, who regularly shops at a Target outlet in Mission Valley, claimed items such as makeup and deodorant were among the products put under lock and key.

A spokesperson told NBC7 in September: “At Target we take a multi-layered approach to combating theft.

“This includes in-store technology, training for store leaders and security team members, and partnerships with law enforcement.

“On a limited basis, we also employ theft-deterrent merchandising strategies, such as locking cases, for categories prone to theft.

“While we don’t share specifics on these strategies, these decisions are generally made at a local level.”

Walmart has also resorted to storing items behind pegs.

Shoppers must notify a staffer if they want a product that's locked on a peg.

But, it can be frustrating as customers may face a wait if their supermarket is short-staffed.

Chains such as Walmart have introduced AI cameras that are designed to catch tactics used by shoplifters such as the banana trick or switcheroo.

James, who is the head cashier at a supermarket in Washington, told the Guardian that he once saw somebody try to take a $1,600 grill by switching the barcode with a $5 item.

These cameras come equipped with miss-scan detection, Christopher Andrews, a sociologist who examined the kiosks in his 2018 book "The Overworked Consumer: Self Checkouts, Supermarkets, and the Do-It-Yourself Economy, explained.

Andrews said it "turns what's supposed to be a leisurely activity of shopping into a quasi-TSA, airport-style security check."

Retailers may decide to put up anti-theft signage as part of attempts to deter shoplifters.

Signs may read: “Free ride in a police car if you shoplift from this store.”

Installing displays around stores is cheaper than installing enhanced technology at self-checkout machines.

And, there have been reports that the technology isn’t as reliable as it should be.

Chains can also put security tags on items such as booze, electronics, and clothes, Vend revealed.

The electronic article surveillance (EAS) tag then sends off transmission to the antennas if it hasn’t been taken off the good.

They can range in different sizes – from bulky devices to tags that look like a barcode.

The alarm will sound if the item hasn’t been paid for or the tag hasn’t been removed.

Experts at Gateway Security believe fashion stores can reduce their shrinkage by between 50 to 90 percent if they use the correct system.

Retailers may also use security stands for tablets and cell phones that are used for demonstrations.

The unit may have already been wedging onto a table, making it extremely difficult to shift.

Outlets may use security devices that come with built-in charges, benefitting customer experiences.

Head honchos at Lowe’s have introduced a measure that could be seen as an “alternative” to strategies implemented by the likes of Target and Walmart.

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

The tags are added when items such as power tools are being made.

But, the drill will only work when it has been scanned at the checkout.

It means that items that are stolen will not start up, effectively making them useless.

Seemantini Godbole, Lowe's executive vice president, and chief digital and information officer, said: “We see a future in which technologies like Project Unlock can help the ecosystem create a great environment for our customers.”

Bosses have said that process is “largely invisible” to shoppers.

Developers at Lowe’s Innovation Labs have revealed that blockchain technology is used to create a record of items that are bought.

The database, which is accessible to the public, is a useful tool for retailers and cops when it comes to verifying items that are bought and stolen.

Meanwhile, a Target worker has opened up on the techniques the company uses when it comes to catching criminals.

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