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Walmart’s CEO issues a warning, threatening to close locations if theft doesn’t

Doug McMillon, the CEO of Walmart, issued a dire warning on Tuesday: If a theft does not decrease, the retailer will close locations across the country.

He told CNBC that “theft is a concern.” It has increased from its previous level.

If that isn’t fixed over time, he continued, prices will go up, and businesses will close.

How much money Walmart has lost this year due to stolen goods was not disclosed by McMillon during the conversation. A request for that number from Insider received no immediate response from Walmart.

But according to Reuters’ 2015 research, the largest retailer in the world likely loses approximately 1% of its US revenue, or about $3 billion annually, to theft by consumers and workers.

According to McMillon, cooperating with local law enforcement authorities and making sure they are fully staffed are the keys to preventing theft.

The retail behemoth from Bentonville, Arkansas is not the only one to have recently raised the theft alert.

Target CFO Michael Fiddelke stated during a company earnings call in November that missing inventory has decreased Target’s gross margin by more than $400 million in 2022 compared to last year, and Target anticipates that these profit losses will increase to $600 million by the end of the fiscal year.

Target mostly cited organized crime as the cause of the inventory decline.

Target CEO Brian Cornell stated on the earnings call that “together with other retailers, we’ve witnessed a significant uptick in theft and organized retail crime across our industry.”