Walmart customers have slammed self-checkout after the CEO threatened stores could be closed due to an increase in thefts.
CEO Doug McMillon blamed the theft on rising prices and possible closures, but one Reddit user claimed self-checkout was the real culprit.
Retail crime rose 26% last year, and authorities warn big changes could be on the way.
Walmart CEO McMillon told CNBC in December that “over time the prices will go up or the stores will close.”
One shopper denounced the comment, claiming on Reddit that this is only half the story.
“Self-checkout is a ploy,” claimed the user.
“We will reduce the number of cashiers to ensure long lines while offering self-checkout.
“It’s not automation as some people claim. It’s letting the customer do the cashier’s job.”
The Redditor went on to say that self-checkout “has led to an increase in thefts.
“Unpaid workers have no incentive to do their job well and scan every item.
“What are they going to do? Fire you? Hire employees to monitor you? That would completely defeat the purpose of self-checkout.”
According to the National Retail Federation, 9 out of 10 shoplifters in the second half of 2022 will target self-checkout, Loss Prevention Media reports.
Yahoo also reports:
I’m not sure if self-checkout is the main cause of this problem.
However, McMillon said working with local law enforcement is key to addressing the issue.
Large retailers, including Walmart, have also come under considerable criticism for locking up more items to reduce theft.
Stores like Walmart, CVS and Walgreens put their products behind plexiglass, leaving shoppers waiting to get their hands on items like razors.
This follows a series of reported thefts at Walmart supermarkets in recent months.
Police in Toledo, Ohio, have been called into the store 11 times in the past two months to deal with thefts, according to WTOL.
Suspected shoplifters also use “passaround” to steal, according to The Atlantic.
That’s where items are put in the bag without being scanned.
Walmart is estimated to lose as much as $3 billion a year to thefts, according to Reuters.
The US Sun reached out to Walmart for comment on the matter, but did not immediately respond.