Why Are Home Decor Items at Target Never Locked Up?

What’s a fair price to pay for mouthwash, soap, body wash, and toothpaste? One TikToker is in shock at their total from Target when buying these items and voiced their concerns about the affordability of basic essentials.

In the video, Steve Owens (@iamsteveowens) is in their car telling viewers about their recent Target visit. They mention that their total price for these essentials was $35, which averages out to about $8.75 per item. They also mention that everything in the store is locked up and that the self-checkout is no longer an option, allegedly due to the store’s concerns about theft. They go on to explain that people are stealing out of necessity, not as a hobby.

“Y’all, people are not stealing because it’s fun. People are stealing because they have to. If you look at what’s locked up—it’s soap, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, body wash. These are essential items, OK? They didn’t lock up the home goods stuff in there,” Owens states about the items at Target.

The video has over 16,000 likes and over 144,000 views since April 10 at 9pm ET.

Owens goes on to contextualize the total of the items based on the average minimum wage in the United States.

“Y’all, people are struggling—that is why folks are stealing. This is $30, OK? Minimum wage in the United States of America, on average, is $11 an hour. You have to trade three hours of your life. Think about this, y’all. You gotta trade three hours of your life for mouthwash, toothpaste. I’mma show it to you again—soap and body wash. This is three hours of your life that you have to trade, and you ain’t never get it back,” Owen states about the Target purchase.

@iamsteveowens Target is robbing us blind, and we are letting them! #fyp #foryou #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Steve Owens

While some sources say the accurate average for minimum wages across the United States is $9.00, the federal minimum wage is lower than this at $7.25 an hour for nonexempt employees, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

People in the comments began to echo their concerns as well.

“Trading your life (work) for items is insane to say…. lordt… that just changed the way I see things,” one comment reads.

“Between essential items and groceries it’s ridiculous,” another wrote. The Daily Dot has previously written about people being overwhelmed by the price of groceries as well.

“Corporate greed,” commented another.

It seems that Owens is not the only one fed up with the price of items nowadays. The Daily Dot has reached out for comment to Target via email and Owen via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Apr 11, 2024, 2:00 pm CDT

Marlin Ramos

Marlin Ramos is a museum educator currently working at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They founded LUMXN Magazine and is a graduate student at New York University. She loves long walks in nature, doing yoga, and baking!