Walmart uses artificial intelligence to catch shoplifters in US stores

Walmart, in collaboration with cybersecurity services experts, is implementing an artificial intelligence system to monitor its stores and prevent potential theft or loss from errors in the company’s scanning system; this program began to be implemented in a thousand stores of the supermarket chain.  This new surveillance program, known inside the company as “Missed Scan Detection”, relies on the use of cameras as a complement to failures in the scanning of sold items.

The store mentions that these cameras will track and analyze activity in self-service checkouts and those operated by the company’s cashiers. For example, if an item goes through the merchandise scanner without being scanned, this surveillance system will notify employees so that the item does not leave the store unpaid.

According to cybersecurity services experts, the program was designed to prevent what is known as “shrinkage”, a term used by retailer chains to refer to losses generated by minor theft, errors in the scanning software, or similar incidents.

U.S. stores lose about 1.3% (about $40 billion considering all self-service store chains) of their annual revenue from such incidents. According to the U.S. Retail Federation, Walmart would have lost more than $4 billion last year.

“Walmart invests to ensure the safety of all its customers and partners”, says the company’s spokeswoman. More than $500 million has been invested to prevent losses and reduce fraudulent practices in its stores, he reports.  

According to cybersecurity services specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), Walmart has been implementing this program for a couple of years, and it appears to have been productive. “Losses due to this kind of practice have decreased in stores where the program has been implemented”, the spokeswoman says.

One of the companies that have supported the implementation of this system is Everseen, Walmart’s leading technology partner, which also works with the world’s top ten retail chains.