"Historically" high levels of shoplifting at the nation's Walmart stores and lax prosecution in cases could lead to higher prices and even closed stores if the problem continues, according to company CEO Doug McMillon.
McMillion, in an interview Tuesday with CNBC's "Squawk Box" said that for the most part, store managers are working with local law enforcement, and "we've got great relationships there," but with the lax approach from others, "if that's not corrected over time, prices will be higher and/or stores will close."
Safety and security measures have been put in place depending on store locations, he added.
"I think local law enforcement being staffed and being a good partner is part of that equation, and that's normally how we approach it," said McMillon.
Target is also facing growing theft issues, and its chief financial officer, Michael Fiddelke told CNBC in November that shoplifting had jumped about 50% year over year and has led to $400 million in losses this fiscal year alone.
Fiddelke said most shoplifting cases involve organized retail theft, not petty theft cases.
Meanwhile, McMillion also said Tuesday that some prices, such as in clothes, toys, and sporting goods, are coming down "aggressively" as the Christmas holiday continues.
"We're still inflated but we're not inflated nearly as much as we are in [other] categories," McMillon said.
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