Man calls out Target's 'shampoo vault'

@alex_falcone/TikTok Julie Clopper/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I don’t think it’s thwarting theft’: Man calls out Target’s ‘shampoo vault’

'I'll leave the cart in the aisle and go somewhere else'


Jack Alban


Posted on Feb 10, 2024   Updated on Feb 14, 2024, 12:52 pm CST

A Target shopper called out the chain for placing relatively low-cost items such as deodorants, shampoos and other toiletries under lock and key. He also believes that these measures aren’t doing anything to combat theft, either.

Ales Falcone (@alex_falcone) posted a viral TikTok to the popular social media platform that has accrued over 430,000 views. In the video, he slams this policy, stating that he’s immediately dissuaded from making a purchase at Target upon seeing items put under a lock and key. There were other folks on the app who said that they feel the exact same way.

“This video is for the Target corporation, I guess, but if I need to buy something, and I go into the store, and it’s behind one of those clear plastic locky things, I don’t need it anymore,” he says. “I’m good. I’m never going to call a teenager over to let me into the shampoo vault, OK?”

He acknowledges there are some exceptions to this rule. “If it’s watches, or diamond rings, sure, lock it down. But if it’s deodorant? Screw it. I’m just going to smell. And it’s never the stores with really good customer service, is it? It would be faster to order it online for delivery to aisle seven than wait for somebody with one of those stretchy wristbands full of keys to open the magical portal into Old Spice,” he says.

And, finally, Falcone says he is skeptical the practice prevents theft. “And I don’t think it’s preventing theft,” he says. “I don’t think it’s working. I don’t believe the people who want to steal can only do it at the shelf and can’t do it around the corner. Also at the register, there’s no cashiers anymore, right? This is all self-checkout. So you think I can’t be trusted to pick it up? But I can be trusted to run the register and check myself out like a good boy?”

While Falcone avers that these lockers aren’t curbing theft, Target could be implementing stringent measures in its stores in an attempt to try and cut into the purportedly $700 million to $800 million in theft the chain lost during its 2022-2023 fiscal year, CBC reported. Additionally, Target customers were becoming increasingly aggressive towards employees of the chain. The outlet wrote that “violent incidents against workers at Target stores [were] up by 120 percent.”

The outlet also spoke with Target reps in September 2023, who relayed the string of anti-theft measures being implemented in store: “Target said it has invested heavily in strategies to prevent theft, such as adding more security workers, using third-party guard services, installing theft-deterrent tools and locking up merchandise. It also has trained store managers and security-team members to protect themselves and de-escalate potential safety issues.”

Theft was such a problem that Target deemed nine of its stores were no longer financially viable to operate, and ultimately decided to close up shop at these locations. Walmart also closed several locations in 2023 citing rampant theft as the primary impetus for doing so.

@alex_falcone stop locking up the deodorant #shopping #target #cvs #observationalhumor #funny ♬ original sound – Alex Falcone

The video has amassed more than 447,000 views as of Saturday evening. Commenters who saw Falcone’s post sympathized with his viewpoints. One person wrote that the anti-theft measures implemented by Target leadership has influenced them to simply order from an online retailer while on one of Target’s brick-and-mortar locations. “I’ll stand in the aisle and order it on Amazon while I’m still in target,” they wrote.

This was a feeling echoed by another person on the application. The user wrote, “i would literally rather wait three days for amazon than three minutes for someone to unlock a case for me.”

Someone else penned, “it’s like when the pump says ‘see cashier’ I immediately go to a different gas station.”

One consumer wrote that there is an upside to these locked cabinets: It’s for helping shoppers ensure that more of their money stays in their pockets. “The only thing those locked cabinets are good for is helping me save money. No more impulse purchases!” they wrote.

Someone else said that the idea of a store “gatekeeping” certain products is one they ultimately find gauche, and it forces social interactions with individuals that they would rather not have. “I see that I turn around and go to a store that isn’t gatekeeping their detergent,” they wrote. “The last thing I want to do when I go shopping is talk to people!”

There was another shopper who wrote that locking up items such as soaps, deodorants and body washes curbs an important part of the consumer experience, one that they can’t indulge because it would mean inconveniencing someone else: “It also adds pressure to be decisive. I want to smell the different body washes, but now I’d have to make some kid wait, and I’m not gonna do that!”

The Daily Dot reached out to Target via email and Falcone via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Feb 10, 2024, 9:00 pm CST