Walmart boss warns shoppers of store closures and price hikes – find out if your state is at greater risk

WALMART could close stores across the country as the bargain hunter faces more incidents of theft, the company’s CEO warned this week.

In-store theft is at an all-time high compared to historical rates at the retailer, Walmart chief executive officer Doug McMillon revealed on an episode of CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Rising theft rates could lead to Walmart store closures and price hikes


Rising theft rates could lead to Walmart store closures and price hikesPhoto credit: Getty

“Theft is a problem. It’s higher than it has been in the past,” McMillon said.

And because thefts are so high, many shoppers could be affected later as stores have to implement different strategies to combat thefts.

“If this isn’t corrected over time, prices will go higher and/or stores will close,” McMillon said.

The impact of the theft on Walmart’s operations varies by location, and McMillon said store managers are working with law enforcement to resolve the issue.

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More thefts nationwide

As Americans face sky-high inflation rates, retailers across the country are seeing rising levels of shoplifting.

According to a survey by National Retail Association found.

Part of this could be due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mask-wearing, as what used to be characteristic of an impending robbery is now just everyday behavior.

Target also came forward to say that theft in stores is becoming a growing problem.

This year alone, theft increased by 50 percent.

Organized theft was a major cause of the retailer’s hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profits. Business Insider reported.

In particular, a lack of inventory resulted in a more than $400 million year-over-year decline in Target’s gross margin in 2022.

The retail chain has said those profit losses will grow to an even higher $600 million by the end of the fiscal year, Target’s chief financial officer Michael Fiddelke said in an earnings call in November.

Walmart itself hasn’t revealed how much money has been lost to theft this year.

Which branches are affected?

Walmart has 4,720 stores in the US and 10,586 locations worldwide, but only certain locations are likely to close or experience price increases due to increased theft rates.

In Old Saybrook, Connecticut, three thieves stole $2,000 worth of Legos from Walmart Wednesday morning and one employee was injured.

and in Pennsylvania, A woman has stolen more than $500 from the retailer on 20 separate occasions.

Another person in Pennsylvania has been accused of stealing nearly $200 worth of goods using a popular self-checkout method.

The “Switcheroo” method of self-checkout stealing has been popular for some time.

It’s a matter of peeling the sticker off of something cheaper and sticking it over the barcode of something more expensive.

Stores that have repeatedly had such incidents are likely to be the first on the list to experience price jumps or even closures.

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