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Mega-Retailer Walmart is reportedly looking at store closures as well as increasing prices as a result of retail theft occurring on a massive scale.

“Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC on Tuesday. “If that’s not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and or stores will close.”

Shoplifting in the past few years has become a major issue for large American retailers such as Walmart and competitor Target. Corporate executives have alternately blamed organized crime and prosecutors refusing to press charges against thieves according to CNBC. The Daily Caller reported that theft has become so widespread, it is making massive cuts into retail profitability and could drive significant changes in retail operations.

Chief Financial Officer of Target, Michael Fiddelke told Fox Business in November, that the retail chain realized a $400 million loss due to a 50% upsurge in shoplifting.

“This is an industry-wide problem that is often driven by criminal networks, and we are collaborating with multiple stakeholders to find industry-wide solutions,” Fiddelke said.

“Along with other retailers, we’ve seen a significant increase in theft and organized retail crime across our business … As a result, we’re making significant investments in training and technology that can deter theft and keep our guests and store team members safe.”

In late 2021, an outbreak of retail theft and mass looting saw CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens locations throughout the nation close. The Daily Wire reported CVS announcing the closure of about 900 locations from 2021-24, totaling about 9% if its 10,000 locations. Rite Aid announced the same week that it would shudder 63 stores to attempt to salvage profitability and Walgreens specifically closed five locations in San Francisco alone citing the huge uptick in shoplifting there.

“The company said that it increased security measures at Walgreens locations ‘across the city to 46 times our chain average’ in an effort to combat San Francisco’s ‘organized retail theft’ epidemic,” The Daily Wire wrote.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the lax approach of some prosecutors could impact prices and end in the closure of locations.

“If that’s not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and/or stores will close,” he warned.

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“It’s really city by city, location by location. It’s store managers working with local law enforcement and we’ve got great relationships there for the most part,” McMillon said.