T.J.Maxx Just Announced a Controversial Change & Shoppers Are Not Happy

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T.J.Maxx is making a major in-store change. During an earnings call in late May, TJX, which heads T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods, said that security employees at various stores are now wearing body cameras to cut down on stealing at locations nationwide.

As CNN reports, TJX began implementing the body camera program last year, with TJX Finance Chief John Klinger stating on the earnings call, “It’s almost like a de-escalation, where people are less likely to do something when they’re being videotaped.”

Those employees wearing the cameras are unarmed “loss prevention associates,” who reportedly undergo specific training on how to use the cameras and when, though TJX has not revealed what this training entails. This footage can then be shared with law enforcement if requested or subpoenaed.

According to one job listing for a loss prevention associate job at a Miami Beach Marshalls, these employees are instructed not to chase after a suspected shoplifting suspect, but rather be a visual deterrent at the front of the store to make potential shoplifters think twice before going through with stealing. They’ll also observe and report suspicious behavior if noticed, and act as a main witness if a shoplifter is apprehended.

Shoppers will be able to recognize a loss prevention associate by their uniform: a company-approved black vest, black pants, and black shoes.

A recent National Retail Federation survey covering theft and organized retail crime noted that “shrinkage,” or loss of product, is at an all-time high across the retail sector. Organized groups working independently or for a larger organization are the most often reported suspects in these theft incidents, which are also growing more violent the larger the scheme becomes. 

The hope is that the body cameras will lessen the threat of violence and loss in TJX stores, but the retail giant will have to wait and see if this change will pay off or if they simply create a tenser shopping environment for customers.