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Shoppers forced to wait up to 40 minutes to buy basic essentials as major retailers LOCK UP goods to combat shoplifting

  Shoppers at big box stores in New York and New Jersey  are being forced to wait as long as 40 minutes  just to buy basic essentials as the...

 Shoppers at big box stores in New York and New Jersey are being forced to wait as long as 40 minutes just to buy basic essentials as these major retailers have now locked up many of their products to counter skyrocketing retail theft.

This is according to a report from investigative news program "Inside Edition," whose reporters visited 15 stores across New York and New Jersey – five Targets, five Walmarts and five CVS's – to see how long it took them to receive items set behind lock and key after pressing the respective help buttons of these stores. 

"Inside Edition" journalists who went to a CVS in Manhattan experienced the shortest wait time out of all the stores they visited. The investigators had to wait just 30 seconds each until store employees came to their aid to help them retrieve body wash and razors from two different locks.

Investigators who went to one Walmart in New Jersey waited 15 minutes until a store employee came to their aid to retrieve some locked-up baby formula. A manager even apologized for the lengthy wait time. In another aisle at the same store, investigators had to wait 24 minutes just to retrieve an electric toothbrush. For two items, it took the team 40 minutes.

Locks turning customers away from shopping at big retailers

"Everything's locked up," said journalist Lisa Guerrero when she stepped inside a Target in Manhattan. She noticed that everything from baby formula and toothpaste to razors and cleaning products were being kept under lock and key.

"They even locked up the underwear," said Guerrero in surprise. "And the socks."

Guerrero and the "Inside Edition" team at this Target store had to ask for assistance three times and wait for seven minutes before a staffer showed up to help them pick up some toothpaste locked behind a cage.

"And then their key didn't even work," said Guerrero, who was forced to wait even longer for the staffer to fetch the correct key. In another aisle stocked with vitamins, Guerrero noted that she waited nearly 11 minutes for an employee to unlock the anti-theft barrier. She noted that just waiting for assistance added nearly 20 minutes to her shopping time.

At this same Target, one customer who spoke with "Inside Edition" told the outlet that he "ended up waiting about 13 to 14 minutes, and then I just kind of gave up." Another woman called the cages "disappointing."

Despite this increasingly common outlook from customers, retailers claim keeping their products under lock and key is necessary to combat the worsening organized retail crime crisis plaguing the nation.

Target noted that it expects its revenue to take a massive $1.3 billion hit this year because of theft and organized crime – a $500 million increase compared to how much the company lost last year from "inventory shrink."

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