In the past few years, an increasing number of stores have opted to put their products behind lock and key. Doing this, the stores say, deters shoplifters, as many chains claim that they are victims of organized shoplifting crime. The data to support this claim is lacking.
No matter the reason, customers are now required to ask for an employee every time they want to purchase goods like soap or batteries. This has proven to be an annoyance, with many shoppers taking to platforms like TikTok to express their dismay.
For example, one user claimed they had to ask for an employee to unlock a $2.49 bag of candy. Another alleged that they waited 10 minutes for an employee due to the store’s understaffing. Even more simply documented their in-store experience, noting that goods were locked up in nearly every aisle.
Now, a user’s clip on TikTok has gone viral after they showed what shopping at one of these locked-down stores looks like. In a video with over 2.7 million views as of Sunday, TikTok user Brigette (@acquiredstyle) shows herself buying items at CVS.
“I think the worst part about living in New York is having to ring these bells every time you wanna get something at CVS,” Brigette says. The video shows her ringing a bell to buy toothpaste, and then another bell to buy soap. Ringing the bell calls an employee, who must unlock the case and hand Brigette the item before locking the case up again.
In the comments section, many users claimed that the rise of locked cases has turned them off of in-person shopping altogether.
“I would just shop online,” a user shared. “It’s hell for shy people.”
“I would legit order everything online if that was the case,” another echoed. “I wouldn’t have the patience.”
“This is stressful,” observed a third. “Shopping should be fun.”
“At that point staff should just follow you around from entrance to check out,” an additional TikToker wrote.
A few users offered ways to improve the experience for shoppers.
“wWhy dont they just put the box for display and people get the box [and] pay [for] it in the cashier,” suggested a user. “After u pay u can go to a register to get the actual thing.”
Others noted that, though largely unheard of in Europe, this locking down of goods was not unique to New York City.
“I live in Baltimore and here even the trash bags are behind locked doors,” stated a commenter.
“I have to do it at my rural Colorado Walmart…I hate life,” declared a second.
The Daily Dot reached out to CVS and Brigette via email.