Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on Tuesday was the latest retail executive to weigh in on the theft, describing it as a “problem” that has worsened.
During his appearance on CNBC, McMillon said the theft was “higher than in the past.” He explained Walmart has security measures “that we have in place by store location” to combat the issue.
“I think locally Prosecution Having staff and being a good partner is part of that equation and that’s how we usually approach it,” added McMillon.
In mid-September, the National Retail Federation found that total losses from shrinkage, a term retailers use for theft and other types of inventory loss, rose to $94.5 billion in 2021. Organized crime incidents in retail increased by an average of 26.5% in the same year, according to the 2022 National Retail Security Survey.
The Walmart CEO also said during his CNBC appearance that “prices will be higher and/or stores will close” unless authorities are strict in prosecuting theft will not be “corrected over time.”
McMillon in response to a separate question what he wants from politicsmentioned “policy consistency and clarity so that we can make capital investments with some vision”.
Walmart declined to give details FOX business about the rising retail crime rate the company is facing.
Among them are executives from Target and Rite Aid other retail leaders who have been sounding the alarm about retail theft in recent months.
Michael Fidelke, Target’s CFOtold investors and analysts in mid-November that the year-to-date decline “has already reduced our gross margin by more than $400 million year-over-year, and we expect to reduce our gross margin by more than $600 million in full year to date.”
“This is an industry-wide problem, often caused by criminal networks, and we are working with multiple stakeholders to find industry-wide solutions,” he said.
At the time, Target CEO Brian Cornell also described theft as a “growing financial headwind” among retailers, noting that the company “is seeing an increase in theft and organized retail crime across our business,” resulting in “significant” investments training and technology to help prevent it.
Heyward Donigan, CEO of Rite Aid, reported during the company’s September conference call that the pharmacy chain experienced “unexpected headwinds” from shrinkage, “especially in our New York urban stores.” According to CFO Matt Schroeder, the company’s front-end gross profit “was impacted by a $5 million increase in shrinkage.”
In January, home depot Scott Glenn, vice president of asset protection, told FOX Business the home improvement company had “done more physical security” and “developed some new tools and technology to make it a little harder for the bad guys and girls to steal products.”
Ken Martin and Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.