Woman Films Customer Chaos in Parking Lot As Target Introduces New Anti-Theft Sensor Carts to Tackle Theft Loss


Photo byAdobe / license: Let's Eat LA

In a viral TikTok, a woman has filmed customers in a Target parking lot struggling to adjust to the store’s new anti-theft cart sensors.

The video by Taylor Ann (@taylormadesince1993) was recorded from her car in the Target store’s parking lot after she experienced the same frustration she was seeing around her.

The now-viral video has been viewed more than 4.6 million times.

Carts locked by anti-theft sensors are causing confusion in Target parking lot

Customers are shown struggling to move carts, suddenly stopped and locked by the anti-theft sensors, leading to confusion and frustration.

The TikToker explains in the video:

“You probably don’t know this, because it’s clearly a new thing, but Target has installed sensors on the carts, which make it so the carts can’t go outside a certain parameter of Target.”

The TikTok video shows local customers stunned by the sudden stop and how they try different techniques to move their carts.

The viral video shows customers in a Target parking lot struggling with the shopping cart's abrupt stopping.Photo byTikTok / @taylormadesince1993

While this shopping cart may be effective at preventing theft, the video shows it has also caused confusion and stress among customers.

Many appeared unsure how to proceed when faced with one of these “locked” carts after the sensors lock the cart if it leaves a designated area.

The video sparked a debate with over 13.2K comments:

"It’s so dangerous for them to just stop in the middle of the parking lot. Can’t imagine having kids in the cart too!" one comment said.

One person said, "This is a total fail on your part Target, make the parameter within the plot of your store not in the middle of the parking lot."

The top comment, with over 15,400 likes, read, "10 ft away from entrance though?"

Another user chimed in, "What in the world! Like don’t even let you get to your car?!"

"Well, that would really cut down on the amount of items I buy," another said.

Target stores are now locking their shopping carts to stop thieves from leaving the parking lot, which also affects customersPhoto byTikTok/ @taylormadesince1993

Target losing millions to theft

Target implemented the anti-theft carts in response to an increase in "inventory shrinkage" at their stores across the country.

According to an article in Insider on November 18, 2022, Target Is Losing Millions to Organized Retail Theft at Its Stores.

Brian Cornell, Target's CEO, told investors in a third-quarter earnings call:

"Along with other retailers, we've seen a significant increase in theft and organized retail crime across our business"

Target chief operating officer John Mulligan said that Target is "putting measures in place at its stores" to stop theft in its stores.

"It's obviously not something we like to do," he said. "It's far less convenient for guests as they shop our stores, but we think we can manage that from a service perspective." 

Retail thieves have systematically target Target on shoplifting runs last year, which is taking a big bite out of profits.

Missing inventory from retail thieves slashed Target’s gross profit margin by $400 million in 2022 compared to 2021’s same-quarter numbers (via ABC).

As of January 02, 2023, there were 1,948 Target stores in the US. California has the most number of Target stores (314), followed by Texas (154) and Florida (127 stores).

Final thoughts

For Target customers, it seems the new locks on shopping carts could just as easily frustrate customers as much as they do thieves.

What do you think about this?

What do you think about this video?

Have you experienced the new carts at Target? Do you think this will help Target save money on losses?

Share your thoughts in the comments and feel free to share this article on social media and with your friends and family if you'd like.

Disclaimer: This article is only for educational and informational purposes.

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