You may come across something quite different next time you're grocery shopping.

Honestly, the times that I need to buy something that can only be opened by a salesperson stress me out. These are the things that are in clear plastic boxes or can only be opened by a magnet. They require more human interaction than I'd really care for early in the morning at a supermarket but I need the thing.

You may have also noticed there seems to be an uptick in stuff that has that kind of lock on it. Even my hair detangler spray is now in one of those magnet-unlocked boxes. Why?

The Next Protected Product

Bodegas in NYC and stores across the country have apparently started chaining up their laundry detergent, like one TikToker shared:

@somajorr 🙃🙃🙃🙃 #ghetto #foryou #foryourpage #foryourpage #fyp #citygirls ♬ original sound - The Entitled Millennial

This is all because of an uptick in shoplifting.

Retailers are putting a lot under lock. Target has recently come under fire for locking up "essential" items. Walmart puts security tags on grocery stuff, like cuts of meat. But National Retail Federation research shows that it's the everyday stuff that people try to steal most often.

According to Investor's Business Daily, retail theft losses hit $112.1 billion in 2022, which was up 19% from the year before. Of course the huge amount of shoplifting affects bottom line performance and earnings for these companies. Not to mention that some of the shoplifting episodes can get violent.

At the moment, I haven't seen our laundry detergent chained to the shelves in the Quad Cities' stores. But don't be too shocked if it happens in the coming months.

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