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Retailers resort to lock and key

Retail giants across the country have upped their security in recent months due to a spike in thefts and organized retail crime — but this has come at the frustration of shoppers.

@suecleansit shared her video with the comment: “I want to know why the scent beads are more protected than the detergent and fabric softener … Make it make sense.”

Many TikTokers who commented on the video clip suggested that retailers are taking security too far. One questioned: “Why is it in a cage?” while another wrote: “I will never understand them locking items under $10, like why?”

Another said: “I went to a Walmart like this in a different city, I have anxiety about asking for stuff, I just went home lol.”

“I would just leave, enough is enough,” one remarked.

Retailers are trying to find a balance between trying new theft prevention techniques and drawing the ire of consumers.

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Staff at America’s most-robbed Walgreens in San Francisco resorted to securing high-theft items with padlocks and chains — but they were ordered by corporate to remove them “because of the negative messaging.”

Home Depot CEO Ted Decker sat down with CNBC’s Squawk Box in June to explain the extra security measures put in place at the home improvement stores across the country.

He said the company is locking up high-value and high-theft items and is “investing in more security guards” to protect the safety of its employees and customers.

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Retail store closures

According to a study by the National Retail Federation, organized retail crime and theft are growing in both scope and complexity across the country.

The situation is so bad in certain cities that retailers are cutting their losses and shutting up shop. This reduces foot traffic and can have a negative snowball effect for surrounding businesses and the local economy.

Many cities have seen retail store closures in recent months. Insider recently reported that as many as 2,373 major retail stores are set to close this year across the country, in part due to economic factors such as dwindling foot traffic in the age of online shopping.

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About the Author

Bethan Moorcraft

Bethan Moorcraft


Bethan Moorcraft is a reporter for Moneywise with experience in news editing and business reporting across international markets.

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