Walmart may close stores, increase prices due to theft, CEO says

Walmart's CEO says stores could close or prices could increase because of store theft.
Walmart's CEO says stores could close or prices could increase because of store theft.(Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 4:22 PM AKST
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(Gray News) – The CEO of Walmart said an increase in theft at the supermarket stores could lead to store locations closing and higher prices for items, according to a new report.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC the issue of theft in Walmart stores is higher than what it “has historically been.”

McMillion said the company has safety measures put in place at each location. He also said cooperating with local law enforcement is part of that equation.

McMillion said local jurisdictions may be required to step up in handling cases of shoplifting to prevent Walmart store closings and higher prices in the future.

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

According to a 2015 Reuters report, Walmart loses $3 billion per year in U.S. revenue to theft by customers and employees.

Last month, CNBC reported that Target, another nationwide superstore, is also seeing an increase in shoplifting.

The CFO of Target, Michael Fiddelke, said theft has cost the company more than $400 million dollars in the current fiscal year, and that most shoplifting is organized retail theft.