Walmart CEO has warned that the retail giant may have to hike prices and shutter some stores amid ‘historically high’ thefts.
Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box Tuesday, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon admitted that theft has become a major issue for the chain known for its low prices, saying district attorneys’ lenient policies need to be ‘corrected.’
‘If that’s not corrected over time, prices will be higher and our stores will close,’ he told co-host Rebecca Quick.
McMillon did not specify in the interview which locations have experienced this record-high level of shoplifting, but his announcement comes after Walmarts in resorted to locking up most of their inventory to prevent further thefts.
Just one month ago, the chief financial officer at Walmart’s biggest rival, Target, also revealed that shoplifting at its stores had leading to more than $400 million in losses in 2022 alone.
Walmart executives have been notoriously secretive about how much of an issue shoplifting is for the company, though has previously estimated that the chain loses about $3billion a year due to thefts.
But in his interview on Tuesday, McMillon admitted: ‘Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been.’
He said the company has been forced to implement new safety measures at different locations but stressed that he saw local law enforcement as the main solution to the growing problem.
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