Tide Pods locked behind clear casing (l) Target (r)

Artography/Shutterstock Electrical_Royal5469/Reddit (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Are people actually stealing these?’: Target worker questions store after it locks up Tide Pods in individual boxes

'I've seen it done at several stores.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Jan 16, 2024   Updated on Jan 16, 2024, 10:23 am CST

In a Reddit post that’s garnering attention, user Electrical_Royal5469 shared an image from their local Target store showing Tide Pods individually locked and displayed in their own security boxes. This practice ignited comments about the lengths retailers are willing to go to prevent shoplifting and its detrimental effect on consumers.

In the post to r/Target, Redditors are discussing the curious decision by the local merchant to individually box Tide Pods instead of opting for the simpler solution of securing them behind a locked door. This seemingly excessive approach to product security raised questions about retail practices and consumer convenience.

One Redditor pointed out the increased burden the decision places on employees. “They really made someone individually box all those Tide Pods instead of just putting a door on the shelf like how I’ve seen it done at several stores…,” they wrote.

Another user noted that it didn’t stop at laundry detergent at their local Target: “At the tsrget I used to work at they locked up socks lmao.” They then humorously added, “Edit: I forgot gum too lol.”

A third Redditor has been so frustrated by the increase in excessive anti-theft measures, that they have stopped shopping at the popular retailer altogether. “The door on the shelves only work if any actual employee will unlock them for you. 1/3rd of my local target is all under lock and key. It’s impossible to shop there without doing a mobile order. But then order fulfillment complains that’s there’s too many large orders,” they concluded. “I stopped shopping at target.”

Electrical_Royal5469’s experience is far from unique, as retailers across the country are securing more and more everyday items behind glass, frustrating customers and stirring debate online. 

While curbing retail theft has become a priority in some states, it cannot be, as this Reddit user points out, to the detriment of the paying customer. More and more, customers are finding themselves faced with long waits, unavailable employees, and lost keys, to purchase even simple items at local retailers. Some analysts have even remarked on the sheer excess of anti-theft measures and their implementation: “retailers are just throwing the kitchen sink at (the shrink issue) right now.”

Is this new? Have we always locked up tide pods? Are people actually stealing these? 😭
byu/Electrical_Royal5469 inTarget

Target’s anti-theft measures, in particular, have come under fire on TikTok as well—users, like this one, have slammed the retailer for putting “essential” items under lock and key, even though they don’t carry particularly exorbitant price tags when compared to other store offerings. Some have even gone so far as to say that, in addition to an overall cost of living increase many Americans have been experiencing since 2021 due to massive spikes in inflation, the era of the Target run is officially over and that shopping at the chain is now no fun.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Electrical_Royal5469 via Reddit direct message for further comment.         

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*First Published: Jan 16, 2024, 5:00 pm CST