Walmart observations

Brian Lutz
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Re: Walmart observations

Post by Brian Lutz » October 28th, 2019, 8:11 am

Last week I was in Las Vegas for a few days, and when we visited a Walmart there (the one on Charleston Boulevard) I observed that almost the entire HBA section of the store (as well as most of the tool section) was being kept in locked cabinets. When I made a purchase, I had to find an employee to open the cabinet, take the item out, and put it into an anti-theft container and have the cashier unlock it to make the purchase. This seemed like a very busy store, and I'm guessing they're doing enough volume to make up for those types of security measures, but I don't think I've seen anything that extreme in terms of anti-theft measures in a Walmart before.

mjhale
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Re: Walmart observations

Post by mjhale » October 28th, 2019, 3:34 pm

Brian Lutz wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 8:11 am
Last week I was in Las Vegas for a few days, and when we visited a Walmart there (the one on Charleston Boulevard) I observed that almost the entire HBA section of the store (as well as most of the tool section) was being kept in locked cabinets. When I made a purchase, I had to find an employee to open the cabinet, take the item out, and put it into an anti-theft container and have the cashier unlock it to make the purchase. This seemed like a very busy store, and I'm guessing they're doing enough volume to make up for those types of security measures, but I don't think I've seen anything that extreme in terms of anti-theft measures in a Walmart before.
Wow! What you describe is draconian compared to the anti-theft measures I've seen in the Walmart stores near me. The Supercenters around me are very busy stores in my observation. The most I've seen in terms of anti-theft is a separate section with its own cash register for high theft HBA items. Also baby formula is in a locked cabinet behind the registers. The only things in locked cabinets within HBA are electric razors. Walmart has to do what it feels it needs to in order to reduce shrink. However as has been discussed here before the more barriers you add to a customer making a purchase the less they actually end up purchasing. Finding an employee in Walmart is hard enough. But forcing me to find an employee for almost every HBA purchase I wanted to make would cause me to go elsewhere. The cost savings gets eaten up in time and frustration.

Alpha8472
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Re: Walmart observations

Post by Alpha8472 » October 29th, 2019, 12:41 am

I have friends who work for Walmart. I know of several stores in high theft areas where they have to do this. The Oakland, California area is filled with professional shoplifters who can wipe out entire aisles of products. The local Walmart stores have locked up entire aisles with glass cases, but provide teams of employees whose sole job is to run around and unlock items. There are call buttons in the aisles that call employees to come help. This is similar to the buttons that Target used to have. Products are then placed in plastic containers to be rung up at the registers. This system is not perfect, but it is a team effort. Employees who stock the shelves also have the keys, so customers are attended to. These "Happy to help" employees have to be quick and friendly. The system works for the most part, but when it gets busy there is a longer wait.

The corporate office is cracking down. If shoplifting is not kept down below a certain limit, the stores will be closed. This is what the corporate office has forced upon these stores. If the employees want to keep their jobs and their store, they need to do this. It is not so great from a customer perspective, but if the key holders do their job the system works for the most part.

The reason for locking these items up is to stop those shoplifters who wipe out the entire aisles of merchandise. The losses drive up prices, and could lead to stores closing. The Oakland, California Walmart was closed due to shoplifting. The nearby stores have to take action or they will be next to close.

The result of this is that shoplifting is reduced greatly, and the shoplifters go elsewhere such as CVS or Target. I kind of feel bad for Target.

Strangely enough, in this area the only options for cheap products is Walmart. There are few Target stores in this area, as Target knows that this high theft, high poverty area is not a good place to open up stores. People do not have a choice as to where to buy cheap products. Many people in this area do not have cars, they are so poor that they have to take the bus and cannot travel long distances to find a Target store.

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