Walmart exec warns of shoplifting effects

FILE - Cars fill up a parking lot in a Walmart location in Philadelphia on Nov. 17, 2021. (AP/Matt Rourke, File)

Increased reports of shoplifting at some Walmart stores have the retailer considering store closings and could lead to higher prices if the problem continues, Walmart Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said Tuesday.

"Theft is an issue," McMillon said in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" program. "It's higher than what it has historically been."

"We've got safety measures, security measures that we've put in place by store location. I think local law enforcement being staffed and being a good partner is part of that equation," McMillon said. He said there could be store closures if prosecutors don't address the problem, responding to a question about how shoplifting cases are being handled.

"If that's not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and/or stores will close," McMillon said.

"It's really city by city, location by location. It's store managers working with local law enforcement and we've got great relationships there for the most part," he said.