No, there are NO immediate plans to close the Tri-City area Walmart stores. But, according to the retail giant's CEO, it could happen.

  Rising unchecked retail theft could drive up prices and close stores

Many US major retailers are already facing competition from online shopping, and now retail theft is causing more issues.

It's not necessarily happening in every city, but Walmart's CEO says rampant, growing retail theft is driving up prices, and could even result in stores closing.

CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC's Squawk Box show this week:

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

He said for the most part Walmart has great partnerships with local community leaders and law enforcement.  He said the store chain is working to strengthen its security measures and safety protections as well.

However, his comment about higher prices and store closings were in reference to what he called a lax approach to assessing and prosecuting retail theft.

Walmart officials say the problem is not isolated petty theft, but more organized retail theft rings. Those are where often multiple individuals attempt to wheel out carts full of merchandise.

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CNBC says Walmart is not the only giant dealing with this, Target reported retail theft is up 50 percent year over year and could result in losses near $400 million.

McMillon, according to CNBC said:

“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."

No doubt his comment about lax attitudes towards retail theft could've applied to the WA state police 'reform' laws passed by the legislature that have limited law enforcement's ability to do their jobs.


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