- Target’s CEO said shoppers are happy items are locked up in stores and protected from theft.
- This contrasts with customer feedback on social media.
- Target said it would lose $500 million in profits this year due to missing inventory.
Target’s CEO said that shoppers are saying a “big thank you” to the company for protecting items from theft by locking them up behind glass panels, but customer complaints online suggest otherwise.
Target’s CEO Brian Cornell was discussing the company’s Q3 earnings in a media call.
He was asked by a CNBC reporter whether there had been a measurable drop in sales due to frustration from shoppers who have to wait for employees to unlock items locked behind glass cases.
Cornell said he had visited stores across the East Coast and West Coast the previous week where items had been locked up.
“And actually what we hear from the guests is a big thank you, because we are in stock with the brands that they need when they’re shopping in our stores,” he said in the call, according to CNBC.
When asked again whether there was a drop in sales he responded: “It’s the opposite. The fact that we’re in stock is what’s most important for the guests.”
Shoplifting and organized retail crime have become major issues for companies like Target – though there is evidence to suggest that some companies may be using shrink as a scapegoat to justify weaker profits.
Last year, Target said it lost $400 million in profits over the course of the year due to missing inventory. It estimated that the company will take a further $500 million profit hit this year from shrink.
As a result, Target has beefed up security in affected stores including locking up aisles of items behind glass cases, that can only be unlocked by employees.
Shoppers have been venting about the new measures online.
One TikToker went viral this month after complaining that “the era of Target runs,” is over. The TikToker made a video saying it took her an hour to shop for basic items like body wash, deodorant, and razors because she had to ask staff to unlock the glass casings where the items were being held.
She said she would have spent more time in-store and shopped for more items, but the experience put her off.
Other shoppers have taken their complaints to X, describing the shopping experience as “ridiculous” and “dystopian.”
Business Insider reached out to Target for comment but did not immediately hear back.