Walmart CEO Doug McMillon says theft is ‘higher than it has historically been’

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on Tuesday became the latest retail executive to describe theft as a worsening “problem.”

During his CNBC appearance, McMillon said the theft was “higher than it has historically been.” He explained that Walmart has safety and security measures that we “enforce by store location” to help combat the problem.

“I think having local law enforcement staff members and being a good partner is part of that equation, and that’s how we normally approach it,” McMillon added.

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Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon (Reuters / Reuters Photos)

In mid-September, the National Retail Federation found that total losses from downsizing, a term retailers use for theft and other types of inventory loss, rose to $94.5 billion in 2021. Organized retail crime incidents increased by an average of 26.5% in the same year. To the 2022 National Retail Security Survey.

The Walmart CEO said during his CNBC appearance that “prices will be higher and/or stores will close” if officials’ failure to act rigorously in prosecuting theft is “not corrected in time.”

Responding to a separate question about what he wants from policymakers, McMillon spoke of “policy coherence and clarity so that we can invest capital with some vision.”

Walmart declined to brief FOX Business about the growing retail crimes the company is facing.

Shoppers on escalators

WalletHub recently released a report that finds which retailers have the best deals for the shopping holiday. (iStock / iStock)

Target and Rite Aid executives are among other retail leaders who have sounded the alarm about retail theft in recent months.

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Target’s CFO Michael Fiddelke told investors and analysts in mid-November that year-to-date shrinkage “reduced our gross margin by more than $400 million from last year, and we expect to further reduce our gross margin to $600 million for the full year.”

Target store in New Mexico

A Target employee pulls red shopping carts into a Santa Fe, New Mexico store. (iStock / iStock)

“This is an industry-wide problem, often driven by criminal networks, and we are collaborating with multiple stakeholders to find industry-wide solutions,” he said.

At the time Target CEO Brian Cornell similarly described theft as a “growing financial headwind” among retailers, noting that the company “sees an increase in theft and organized retail crime across our business”, leading to “significant” investments in education and technology. help prevent it.

Rite Aid CEO Heyward Donigan reported during the company’s September earnings call that the drugstore chain is experiencing “unexpected headwinds” due to shrinkage “especially in our New York City stores.” According to CFO Matt Schroeder, the company’s front-end gross profit was “affected by the $5 million increase in shrink.”

Ritual Aid

A person walks into a Rite Aid store in Los Angeles on December 22, 2021. (Mario Tama/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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In January, Home Depot Vice President of Asset Protection, Scott Glenn, told FOX Business that the home improvement company was “doing more physical security” and “developing some new tools and technologies to make it a little harder for bad guys and girls to steal.” Product: %s.”

Ken Martin and Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.

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