At Some Stores, TJ Maxx Staff Use Police-Style Body Cameras

( – If you shop at some of America’s biggest stores, you could be on camera. TJX Companies, which owns TJ Maxx and other brands, has started equipping security staff with police-style body cameras. The company says it needs to do this to deal with thieves.

On June 5, Fox News reported that, a year ago, TJX Companies began issuing staff in some of its US stores with body cameras. The company’s brands include TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra, Winners, and HomeSense. In total, it has more than 4,500 stores in nine countries, with the vast majority of them in the US. A spokesman told Fox that the cameras are only issued to “loss prevention associates”—store detectives—who have been trained to use them, and the video they take isn’t shared except if the police ask for it or the store is subpoenaed.

The spokesman said the cameras were brought in to reduce “shrink,” the industry term for theft. This is a massive and growing problem in the US. The National Retail Federation (NRF) says stores lost $112.1 billion to thieves in 2022, and with liberal district attorneys and city governments effectively legalizing shoplifting, retailers are concentrating on deterring thieves.

The TJX spokesman said the cameras are “almost like a de-escalation,” and explained that when people know they’re being filmed, they’re less likely to try stealing anything. For under-pressure stores, it’s a tempting option. According to the NRF, up to a third of retailers are considering bringing in cameras to deter criminals. Others are looking at different options.

Dollar General is removing self-service checkouts from hundreds of stores, and taking commonly stolen products off the shelves. It’s a delicate balancing act. Stores need to cut theft if they’re going to stay in business, but at the same time, too much security can put off customers.

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