Outside of store Walmart logo on blue wall(l), Blonde woman speaking with text below that says 'the walmart comeback theory'(c), A target logo and text outside of store(r)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock @britneyrosenewman/Tiktok Tada Images/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Customers think Walmart is going to have a comeback after Target locks essential items up

'I used to be a Target super fan. I haven’t been in at least a year. Walmart has stepped up their game so hard.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Oct 10, 2023

A number of Target shoppers have recently taken to social media to express their displeasure with the store’s new practice of locking up all of its products, and as a result of this backlash, one TikToker predicts that Walmart will be making a comeback.

TikToker Britney Newman (@britneyrosenewman) argues that with the backlash against Target’s new security measures, along with the many improvements Walmart has been making to its stores over the past few years, are poised to have the rival chain store take over as the more popular brand in upcoming months.

“Okay, I’ve been seeing a ton of these videos out on my for you page this week,” Britney says before introducing her hypothesis. “I have a theory. I’ve had this theory since April, when Walmart started shutting down stores that had a high theft rate. I call this, the Walmart comeback theory.”

@britneyrosenewman #stitch with @Emily Long, MD my @Walmart ♬ original sound – Britney Newman

The shopper provides some background before launching into the many ways that she thinks Walmart is better than Target.

She explains that while Target has opted to lock up its items due to ongoing issues with theft, Walmart took a different approach to the same problem back in April. “Walmart looked at their stores and they said: ‘these stores, it’s just not worth it for us to operate. We’re losing money there, let’s just them down,'” she says.

While the company did experience some backlash at the time, she acknowledges, the company is now a much more pleasant place to shop at than its competitor, Target.

“I can honestly say I would rather shop at Walmart than Target just about any day,” she proclaims. “There’s not a lot of things locked up. But in general I like Walmart more. I think their clothes are better. I think they have better prices. I think they have a better selection.”

The shopper goes on to shout out Walmart’s selection of toddler boy clothes, their great selection workout clothes as a result of a deal with Reebok, and their new partnership with Dunkin’. “It’s been fantastic, because my toddler, he can get a donut, we can get groceries, and we can get out of there,” Britney says, arguing that Dunkin’ at Walmart will be a solid challenger to the established Target-Starbucks alliance.

“When I was younger, Walmart was the place to shop. I don’t remember going to Target as a kid,” the TikToker says towards the end of her video. “I really think that we’re gonna see [Walmart’s] comeback … I think they’re gonna get wind of what Target’s doing, and they’re gonna go the opposite direction because they see how it’s impacting its customers, like, I don’t know I’m just fully convinced that Walmart is gonna make a full comeback and I said what I said.”

Britney’s video has received 643,100 views as of this writing, and the comments were flooded by users who had their own opinions on the matter.

Some argued that while Target may be bad, Walmart isn’t much better.

“I’m trying to get on the Walmart train but it’s so crowded and the clientele is [grimacing emoji],” wrote one user.

“Welp, it’s official. No one remembers what good quality products are anymore. Walmart clothes just got described as good quality,” opined second.

Someone also disagreed that the clothes at Walmart were better-priced than at Target. “It’s cheaper to go to Old Navy or Target for baby clothes bc they have coupons/discounts,” they said.

Britney responded, saying this wasn’t the case at the location she shopped at. “Not for us here – I just bought my kids sweat pants for $5 like – such a steal in my opinion.”

But others rallied around Britney’s thesis and provided supporting anecdotes of their own.

“The pandemic really changed Target for me. It just was never the same. Almost 2 years ago it started being a quick in and out for me,” shared one person.

“I don’t look at women’s clothes in Target anymore. I love the Time and Tru line at Walmart though!” said someone else, echoing Britney’s opinion that the clothing at Walmart is better.

“I used to be a Target super fan,” wrote a third. “I haven’t been in at least a year. Walmart has stepped up their game so hard.”

“I turned into a Walmart girly I never thought I’d be,” admitted another former Target shopper.

According to Macrotrends, there’s no need for Walmart to make a “comeback” as it has reported year-over-year profits over the past several years: “Walmart gross profit for the twelve months ending July 31, 2023 was $152.624B, a 5.55% increase year-over-year. Walmart annual gross profit for 2023 was $147.568B, a 2.65% increase from 2022. Walmart annual gross profit for 2022 was $143.754B, a 3.54% increase from 2021.”

However, Walmart shoppers have also pointed out products being locked up at the locations they frequent, including items under $10, and it appears that the store isn’t immune to the effects of rising rates of theft. Whether or not the company decides to implement measures similar to those at Target remains to be seen.

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

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*First Published: Oct 10, 2023, 3:40 pm CDT