NY POST – Walmart’s push to crack down on shoplifting at self-checkout counters with anti-theft technology has led to a surge in “hostile” encounters between hourly workers and shoppers, according to a report.
The big-box chain — one of many retailers battling increasing theft that has eaten into their bottom lines — has armed employees with handheld devices that track purchases at self-checkout registers, an Insider report revealed.
However, the workers claim they are not properly trained to handle sticky-fingered shoppers, many of whom have hurled things at them or become aggressive when confronted for not scanning all their purchases.
“It’s really uncomfortable, and it becomes, like, a safety issue,” one Walmart employee in Illinois told Insider.
The employees are instructed to disable the register when they suspect someone has failed to scan an item, giving the customer “no choice but to call for help,” according to a former employee who posted a TikTok video about Walmart’s procedures.
“Employees are told to ‘pretend something is wrong with the machine’ and to steer the customer to an aisle where they will be checked out by a cashier … “
The company has added large video screens in the self-checkout aisle that capture the moment a customer puts something in a bag without scanning it.
Employees are instructed not to accuse customers of stealing, and to call a manager over, but the anti-theft technology “feels more confrontational than it was before because…the evidence is right there … ”