Christmas Shoppers on Deansgate
Christmas Shoppers on Deansgate by David Dixon is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

Toothpaste, chocolate, washing powder and deodorant — everyday products are increasingly under lock and key at US retailers, as petty theft and organized shoplifting rise while consumers grapple with costs of living.

Major retailers Walmart and Target, drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens, as well as home improvement firm Home Depot and footwear seller Foot Locker are among those to have voiced concern over more thefts — including violent incidents — in their latest earnings results.

"Organized retail crime, and theft in general, is an increasingly serious issue impacting many retailers," said Lauren Hobart, chief executive at Dick's Sporting Goods during a conference call.

The impact of stealing on the company's inventory was "meaningful" on both its second quarter results and expectations for the balance of the year, she added.

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