Walmart’s traditional modus operandi has been to offer the lowest prices by slashing operating expenses wherever it can find them — including wages and benefits.
In fact, Walmart is so cheap that, back in 2013, a store in Ohio held a food drive to help make sure some of its own employees wouldn’t go hungry on Thanksgiving.
With this in mind, it’s not too surprising to learn that Walmart is also dirt cheap when it comes to paying for proper store security — and it’s putting a strain on local police budgets.
Bloomberg Businessweek has a very detailed new report that shows how police departments around the country are getting fed up with Walmart’s unwillingness to invest in proper store security infrastructure. In fact, it seems that Walmart’s security is so notoriously lax that its stores have become magnets for criminals who know it will be easier to commit crimes in them.
Just how bad is Walmart’s in-house security? In the city of Tulsa, police were responded to incidents at the city’s four Walmart stores a total of just under 2,000 times. The city’s lone Target store, meanwhile, called on police to respond to incidents just 44 times.
In other words, even if you just calculate reported incidents on a per-store basis, Walmart stores produced an average of 500 last year, more than 12 times the number at the Tulsa Target.
“Target doesn’t have these problems,” Bill Ferguson, a police captain in Port Richey, Florida, tells Bloomberg Businessweek. “Part of it may be the lower prices at Walmart or where Walmart is located, but when I walk into Target I see uniformed security or someone walking around up front. You see no one at Walmart. It just seems like an easy target.”
Ferguson also tells the publication that company officials know they have a problem with poor security at their stores but still “refuse to do anything about it” — after all, why bother when the public will pick up the tab?
In response to the story, Walmart issued the following statement:
In the coming weeks and months, we will continue our increased outreach to law enforcement across the country, as part of our ongoing commitment to meet our customer’s and associate’s expectations of a safe and enjoyable shopping experience. The importance of this issue is recognized at the highest levels of the company and we are investing in people and technology to support our stores. We are clear that no level of violence is acceptable in our stores and will continue to make this a key priority.
The entire report is very detailed and thoroughly reported — check it out at this link.