13 Walmart Theft Statistics You Need To Know In 2023
DealAid curates Walmart theft statistics from public data, private organizations and other sources. You will find key trends and statistics for Walmart theft and shoplifting below. Please refer to the footnotes for original data sources.
*Last updated: November 16th, 2023
Key Statistics & Insights
1. Walmart's annual losses due to retail theft are estimated to account for $6.1 billion in 2022.
In 2022, Walmart faced a staggering financial setback as their annual losses resulting from theft surpassed around $6.1 billion according to estimates. This estimate is based on retail theft accounting for around 1% of Walmart’s revenue which was $611.29 billion in fiscal year end of January 2023.
2. Walmart's retail theft losses accounted for 14.7% of all retail theft losses in USA in 2022.
In the year 2022, Walmart experienced a notable share of the overall retail theft across the United States, with their specific contribution amounting to a significant 14.7% of the total retail theft in the country which was $41.6 billion. This statistic highlights the substantial impact of Walmart’s retail theft problem on the broader landscape of loss prevention within the retail industry.
3. Walmart's losses due to retail theft are expected increase to $6.5 billion or by $400 million in 2023.
Considering this alarming trend, it is projected that Walmart’s financial setbacks could surge to a staggering $6.5 billion in 2023 which is $400 million increase year over year. This emphasizes the urgent need for robust loss prevention measures to mitigate the potentially devastating impact on the company’s profitability.
4. Electronics, cosmetics, deli food and personal care items are reported to be the most stolen item categories from Walmart.
Among the vast array of products available at Walmart, certain item categories have emerged as prime targets for theft, further exacerbating the company’s loss prevention challenges. Notably, electronics, cosmetics, deli food, and personal care items have been identified as the most frequently pilfered categories, underscoring the appeal of these high-value, easily concealable goods to would-be thieves seeking to exploit vulnerabilities within the store’s inventory management systems.
5. Walmart's stores with highest retail shrink rates are in areas where persecution for shoplifting crimes has lowest rates.
Walmart experiences higher retail shrinkage, a term for losses due to theft, damage, or errors, in its stores located in areas where law enforcement is less stringent about shoplifting crimes. Essentially, in regions where shoplifting is not rigorously prosecuted, Walmart’s stores are more likely to encounter losses from theft, contributing to a higher rate of retail shrinkage.
6. Self-checkout terminals in Walmart stores potentially contribute up to 50% of all losses due to theft.
Within the vast network of Walmart stores, the self-checkout terminals have emerged as a significant focal point in the battle against theft, as they potentially account for a staggering 50% of all losses incurred by the company. These seemingly convenient and streamlined points of sale, while providing customers with autonomy, have also become a hotbed for fraudulent activities, underscoring the imperative for enhanced surveillance and loss prevention strategies to mitigate the adverse impact on Walmart’s bottom line.
7. Walmart has a strict no-chase policy which instructs employees to "follow from a safe distance while maintaining observation and relay information to police."
Walmart’s stringent no-chase policy embodies a deliberate approach to apprehending suspected shoplifters, prioritizing the safety of both employees and customers. This policy directs Walmart’s dedicated workforce to exercise utmost caution, adhering to instructions that require them to track suspects discreetly from a secure distance, employing astute observation skills, and promptly communicating vital information to local law enforcement authorities, ensuring a measured response that safeguards lives while facilitating effective criminal apprehension.
8. Increase in theft could force Walmart to increase prices just like 46% of small retail businesses in US were forced to do as a result of theft.
The alarming rise in theft poses a significant threat to Walmart, potentially compelling the retail giant to resort to an unfortunate measure: raising prices. This parallel can be drawn from the distressing reality faced by 46% of small retail businesses across the United States, who were compelled to adopt similar measures due to the detrimental impact of theft on their financial viability. The prospect of elevated prices serves as a disheartening consequence, highlighting the pervasive ripple effect of theft within the retail industry and the challenges faced by major players like Walmart in maintaining affordability amidst mounting losses.
9. Walmart has been forced to lock up even lower priced items like batteries, makeup and cleaning products in certain locations due to theft and shoplifting.
Compelled by the escalating incidents of theft and shoplifting, Walmart has resorted to implementing stringent security measures, such as locking up an expanding range of lower-priced items like batteries, makeup, and cleaning products in specific store locations. This reactive approach reflects the urgent need to safeguard these commonly targeted and easily pilfered goods, as the retail giant grapples with the persistent challenges posed by theft, striving to strike a delicate balance between accessibility for genuine customers and effective loss prevention strategies to curtail the financial toll inflicted by illicit activities.
10. Goods stolen from Walmart as a result of organized retail crime are typically resold on popular online sites like Amazon, Ebay and others.
The insidious phenomenon of organized retail crime has found an avenue for profit as the stolen goods from Walmart frequently find their way into the vast online marketplaces, including prominent platforms like Amazon, eBay, and various others. This thriving underground economy sees stolen merchandise from the retail giant being surreptitiously resold, underscoring the complex and interconnected nature of illicit activities that transcend physical store boundaries, enabling perpetrators to exploit the anonymity and global reach of online platforms to perpetuate the cycle of theft and profit from the sale of pilfered items.
11. Walmart competitor Target, is expected to lose more than $600 million in 2023 due to theft which is a 50% year over year increase.
In a disheartening projection for the year 2023, Target, a formidable rival to Walmart, faces an alarming prospect of incurring losses exceeding a staggering $600 million due to theft—an unfortunate 50% surge compared to the previous year. This substantial year-over-year increase not only highlights the escalating challenge of theft within the retail industry but also underscores the profound impact it can have on even the most robust and well-established competitors like Target, compelling them to intensify their loss prevention efforts to safeguard their financial stability amidst mounting losses.
12. With average loss of $524.07 per shoplifting incident among all retailers in America, Walmart's losses per incident could very likely average hundreds of dollars.
Amidst the prevailing landscape of shoplifting incidents across the retail sector in America, where the average loss amounts to a substantial $524.07 per incident, it becomes increasingly apparent that Walmart’s losses per individual occurrence are poised to reach a similarly distressing magnitude, potentially amounting to hundreds of dollars on average. This concerning correlation highlights the formidable financial toll imposed on the retail giant, underscoring the imperative for robust prevention strategies and heightened vigilance to mitigate the impact of these illicit activities on Walmart’s bottom line.
13. With an increase of 81.2% in violence and aggression associated with retail theft, Walmart may be forced to close certain locations in US.
The troubling surge of violence and aggression accompanying instances of retail theft has reached an alarming 81.2% increase, raising profound concerns for Walmart’s operations and the safety of its employees and customers. Faced with such a menacing environment, the retail giant may be compelled to make the difficult decision of closing specific locations across the United States, prioritizing the well-being and security of all stakeholders as it grapples with the urgent need to curb the rising incidents of violence and protect the integrity of its brand.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes, Walmart employs various surveillance and loss prevention measures to track and identify shoplifters within their stores.
While it may vary, one of the most commonly stolen items from Walmart is often reported to be electronics.
Yes, Walmart actively implements security measures, such as surveillance systems, loss prevention training for employees, and collaboration with law enforcement, to address and combat theft within their stores.
Walmart employs a combination of technology, such as video monitoring and weight sensors, along with trained associates who actively monitor self-checkout areas to detect and apprehend potential thieves.
Stores employ various methods to detect stolen items, including surveillance cameras, electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems, RFID technology, inventory audits, and trained loss prevention personnel who monitor suspicious behaviors and conduct inspections when necessary.