Shopping trolleys are seen near the Walmart shop in Williston.
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Many retailers attribute rampant product losses to widespread shoplifting.
Some major chains have put products behind locks to prevent shoplifting.
Now, one of them is considering pulling name-brand products off its shelves completely.
Get ready to see more store-brand knock-offs at your local convenience store.
Some retailers say shoplifting has gotten so bad that they are removing name brands from their shelves, instead offering store brands that have lower resale values.
At Giant Food, a supermarket chain with 165 stores in the DC area and surrounding states, at least one struggling store has decided to put products at higher risk of theft — things like Tide detergent, Dove soap, and Pantene shampoo — in locked boxes or pulling them from the shelves altogether, The Washington Post reported. As an alternative, it will offer cheaper store brands.
“I don’t want to do this,” Giant president Ira Kress told the Post. Kress previously referred to shrink (product losses due to theft, damages, or losses) as a “spiraling problem,” saying in July that theft at Giant stores had increased 5 to 10 times what it was in the last few years.
Nationwide chains like Home Depot, Target, Dollar Tree, and Ulta are among those that said shrink was a concern in recent earnings calls. Executives at Target told investors earlier this year that the company expects to see a $500 million loss in profits this year due to missing inventory because of theft and organized retail crime, Insider previously reported.
“But the reality is that Tide is not a profitable item in this store,” Kress told the Post. “In many instances, people stock the product, and within two hours, it’s gone. So it’s not on the shelf anyway.”
Several top chains have put items in locked boxes, requiring a store employee to unlock them. But the anti-theft measures may have an unintended consequence: They are annoying enough to drive away paying customers.
One shopper previously told Insider the lock boxes have “progressed from slightly annoying to more than inconvenient.”