With the rise of e-commerce has come a subsequent decline in in-person retail sales.
A 2020 study noted that “56,000 stores, or 10.7% of the discretionary retail footprint, have closed in the U.S. and 670,000 net jobs (9.6% of the total) have been lost since 2008.” That number is also increasing—the study’s author “estimate[d] that continued e-commerce penetration could eliminate another 500,000 jobs and 30,000 retail establishments by 2025.”
Although some may say the ease of online shopping and the breadth of products is the reason for this collapse, others have a different theory. Simply put, in-person shopping has become substantially more difficult.
In response to fears about shoplifting, some stores have opted to barricade certain sections of the store or place various products behind glass, meaning that getting to the thing you need requires you to find an employee to unlock a case — and, in some cases, pay for the product in question then and there.
Now, TikTok user Makayla (@moonrants) has sparked discussion after posting a video complaining about this phenomenon.
@moonrants count your days #walmart. making the shopping experience awful isn't gonna boost sales #shoponline ♬ original sound – Makayla Moon Rants
“I’m in Walmart right now. If I want to buy something from cosmetics — which, I was going to buy a lip gloss, I’m going to buy a video game, and I’m going to buy all my other groceries and stuff, I have to do 3 separate transactions,” she explains.
“Anything in cosmetics has to be paid for in cosmetics, apparently,” she continues. “Anything in the electronic section has to be paid for in electronics now, and then both those sections can’t do produce because they have no scale.”
Complications like these may play a role in driving people away from retail, Makayla speculates.
“Like, yeah, no sh*t people are buying sh*t online,” she adds. “You made the shopping experience a living hell. Nothing about me wants to do 3 transactions just to buy one store’s items.”
Makayla concludes by saying that, though she does not like either company, she’d rather see Amazon lose to Walmart as “it’s got like two-day delivery” and does not require the hassle of in-person shopping.
In the comments section, many users agreed with her point.
“And now they’re locking up everything,” a user wrote. “I wanted to buy false lashes and had to ask a worker to unlock a case they store them in.”
“I gave up. It’s too much,” another added. “Waiting for 20 min to unlock phone chargers so I can wait in line to buy it in electronics. Or deodorant. Or toothpaste.”
“I literally left my cosmetics at the counter yesterday because I thought it was ridiculous,” a third shared.
We’ve reached out to Makayla via Instagram direct message and Walmart via Media Contact Form.