Walmart storefront(l), Woman talking(c), Items in a box(r)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock @opie_petsitting/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘We have to take the little box … to get unlocked again’: Walmart shopper says worker unlocked item just to put it in another locked case

'I don't buy anything that is locked up out of principle.'


Jack Alban


Posted on May 9, 2024   Updated on May 8, 2024, 1:56 pm CDT

A Walmart customer was shocked to receive “double-locked” items while shopping at one of the popular retailer’s locations.

Opie (@opie_petsitting) recorded how she and another shopper had to get deodorant unlocked from a cabinet by an employee, only to have their products placed inside another lockable plastic bin. This bin would then be unlocked once it was brought to checkout to be scanned and purchased.

Their video documents how inconvenient shopping has become in certain areas, and numerous users on the application discussed how they outright refuse to purchase products if they are placed under lock and key.

“The dystopian hellscape which is Walmart,” a text overlay in the video reads. The clip shows shoppers standing in front of a locked cabinet filled with medications and toiletries, which are then placed in separate, smaller locked plastic bin containers.

Opie shows off this other “little case” which contains three sticks of deodorant as she shares how ridiculous she finds these security measures.

“How it is shopping at Walmart in 2024, right?” she says. “So after you get them to already unlock one of these counters, they take the sh*t that you bought and they stick it in another little case and you go to walk around the store with it in another little case.”

Opie and her shopping companion then wait in front of another locked cabinet as an employee comes to open it up for them. They grab what looks like an Equate product for the shoppers before the employee walks off, but there’s a problem.

“Did I tell them I wanted two of them? You heard me say I wanted two, right?” Opie’s fellow shopper asks her, who is recording behind the camera.

“I think…I thought you meant you wanted the 2-pack, not you wanted two 2-packs,” she says.

However, at that point, the employee had already walked away with the product, leaving it at the counter for the customers to purchase when they arrived at checkout. But Opie and her partner thought the Walmart worker was going to return with another plastic lock box for the product, as the process was not communicated to them.

“She took his item and just walked off with it,” Opie explained in a text overlay. “We thought she was going to get a clear box for it, but she put it up at a counter, never came back, and we stood there for 5 minutes because we had no clue that the clear box protocol was ever changing.”

Opie and her co-shopper weren’t the only folks upset by the security protocols implemented by Walmart. Several viewers expressed their rage in the comments section.

One individual pointed out how long it can take to get employees to unlock these drawers, causing unnecessary delays in their shopping experience: “They lock the stuff up and nobody is around to unlock it.”

Some have adopted a fiscal protest against locked up items. “If a product is locked up I just assume they don’t want to sell it and I don’t need it,” one penned.

Another person simply stated, “I quickly don’t need that anymore.”

“I don’t buy anything that is locked up out of principle. I will make do without,” a further user echoed.

One shopper in the comments was shocked to see the locked-up state of Opie’s store. “Not a single thing except electronics is locked up at mine,” they said. “Never seen a walmart with locks on everything that’s crazy.”

@opie_petsitting Oh Walmart…you guys are hilarious. I thought nothing could be funnier than the time when we had direction arrowns on asiles and signs that said we had to stand 6 ft apart, but here we are… we have to find someone to unlock the big box, so they can put our stuff in a little box, then we have to take that little box back later on to get unlocked again, then if we buy something else, there may not be a little box for it, so then the employee will just walk off with your thing without much instruction on how to actually buy it🤦🏻‍♀️#walmart2024 #walmart #retailproblems ♬ original sound – Opie | UGC & PETSITTER

Walmart shoppers have regularly complained about these growing security measures online. One individual said that they couldn’t get help from an associate at the store to crack open a drawer that was housing a $4 battery. Ultimately, they decided to leave the store without purchasing it because they didn’t want to continue waiting.

But it’s not just Walmart that is putting its items under lock and key and angering customers. One woman claimed that the “era of the Target run” was officially over due to the security protocols implemented at her local store, which included locking up “essential” items.

In December 2022, Walmart’s CEO warned that persistent shoplifting in its locations could lead to price hikes and store closures, a foreboding that came true, with 24 stores shuttering their doors and leaving communities that once relied on the retailer for goods and services. Walmart has continued this store closure trend in 2024; eight retail locations have been shut down this year.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Walmart and Opie via email for further comment.

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*First Published: May 9, 2024, 3:00 am CDT