Target CEO claims customers are THANKFUL for retailer locking up everyday merchandise because it means the items are in stock – as he warns of slow holiday shopping season
Target CEO Brian Cornell claims shoppers are grateful the retailer is closing shelves amid rising theft, despite public complaints about the new system.
As retailers warn of a slow holiday shopping season, plans have been made to lock down shelves of everyday items after an estimated $500 million a year is lost to violent shoplifters.
“What we’re hearing from guests is a big thank you because we stock the brands they need when they shop in our stores,” Cornell told CNBC.
“And because we’ve invested in the labor of team members in those aisles and making sure we’re there to greet that guest, open those bags and get them the items they’re looking for.”
Cornell said earlier this month shoppers are retreating on spending and his company will take a cautious approach to the holidays.
Target CEO Brian Cornell said customers are grateful to have the items locked up
A Target employee closes one of the cabinets containing men’s deodorant. The company predicted a loss of $500 million per year to violent shoplifters
Last week, photos showed that Target has resorted to locking down underwear from a brand ironically called “Pair of Thieves” in an effort to combat rampant shoplifting.
Employees at a San Francisco store said their location experiences a theft every ten minutes.
Workers have said they are seeing people putting ‘stuff’ in bags and as a result several products are now being placed behind plastic barriers.
That projected loss of $500 million due to shoplifting, along with a $700 million inventory reduction from last year – partly due to supply chain chaos, largely caused by the pandemic – has cost the retailer a whopping 1.2 billion dollars.
In September, Target announced it would close nine locations in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, as “theft and organized retail crime threaten the safety of our team and our guests.”
Cornell emphasizes that shoppers are grateful to have essential items stashed away because it’s important to keep them in stock.
“They understand the fact that we have had to make some changes to ensure product safety and the fact that they have products in stock when they shop in stores,” the Target CEO said.
However, many customers have taken to social media to complain about the inconvenience of having their essentials locked up and the long wait times.
Twitter user Kurt Jetta said, “Hey Target! You can’t lock stuff up to prevent theft and then not have a salesperson anywhere within shouting distance to take it out. How many electronics and shaving sales have you lost as a result? I definitely lost a $300+ basket of mine.”
“Oh, I’m with you, my friend. After standing in front of a razor for almost 45 minutes just to have an employee with an attitude unlock the case and rush me, I’m not wasting my time now. If it’s locked, I’ll go elsewhere for that item. I don’t care if I have to pay more,” said another user named Michele.
Many people expressed their frustration about the locked suitcases and indicated that they would rather do their shopping elsewhere.
One user said: ‘Hey Target, I speak for everyone when we say we are SICK of these closed cases. Do it better.’
“Target is so genius for putting all the socks, underwear and toiletries in locked suitcases so I will never buy any of these products there again,” said another.
Target CEO Brian Cornell, pictured, said the retailer has had seven consecutive quarters of declining sales
Target said last year it had too much of the wrong inventory for the holidays and was bracing for a slow seasonal shopping season
In an interview with CNBC, Cornell said the retailer has had seven consecutive quarters of declining sales.
“Even in the food and beverage categories, the units, the number of items they buy, have been declining in recent quarters,” he said.
Target said last year it had too much of the wrong stock for the holidays and was bracing for a slow seasonal shopping season.
“We took a much more conservative approach to inventory planning this year,” Cornell said.
“But we’re going to capitalize on those big seasonal moments and play to win, when we know the consumer is looking for something new, looking for affordability, looking for that special item for the holidays.”