The world’s largest retailer is committed to providing quality and convenience, boasting a location within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population, contributing to its impressive $611 billion revenue in fiscal 2023. However, shifting economic landscapes have affected even the retail giant.
With rising interest rates post-pandemic and changing migration patterns leading to some emptier locations, challenges have arisen. Nationwide, the cost of living has increased, impacting various goods and services. Notably, shelter costs surged by 6.7%, while transportation services saw a substantial 9.2% rise in prices.
These escalating costs have unfortunately led to an increase in in-store crime and retail theft across the country, with shoplifting incidents in major U.S. cities rising by 16% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019.
In response to the prevalent issue of theft, particularly at self-checkout kiosks, Walmart has initiated changes. The introduction of Hosted Checkouts involves associates guiding customers through the process, enhancing security. Walmart acknowledges the evolving shopping habits of customers and is committed to exploring new methods that provide choice while saving time and money.
While unintentional shoplifting remains a concern, crafty customers exploiting self-checkout systems contribute to a loss rate of approximately 4%, double the national average. Reports suggest that Walmart is contemplating removing hosted checkouts in certain locations, citing concerns about sales. Although not officially confirmed, Walmart has previously removed self-checkout options in select stores, signaling a potential trend in response to evolving challenges.