Target closes stores amidst rising retail crime concerns

27.09.2023 posted by Admin

Closes nine stores amid rising retail crime

Target is set to close nine of its stores in major cities across four states due to concerns about theft and organized retail crime, which have created an unsafe environment for both staff and customers, making it unsustainable for business.

This move by the retail giant is part of a broader trend among retailers, both large and small, who are struggling to combat store crimes that are negatively impacting their profits. Many of these businesses have either shut down stores or made adjustments to their merchandise and store layouts in response.

However, critics argue that stores have not provided sufficient evidence to support their claims, with some retailers suggesting that theft is being overstated as an issue.

Target released a statement explaining their decision: "We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance. We know that our stores serve an important role in their communities, but we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all."

While it's unclear whether there has been a significant increase in crime, the economic climate, marked by inflation and rising borrowing costs, has made shoplifting a more common occurrence, according to industry experts.

The affected Target stores are scheduled to close their doors on October 21. These stores include the East Harlem location in New York City, two locations in Seattle, three locations in Portland, and three locations in San Francisco and Oakland.

Target claims to have taken steps to enhance security and implement anti-theft measures before deciding to close these stores. Employees affected by the closures will have the opportunity to transfer to other Target locations.

It remains uncertain whether the stores were underperforming or failing to meet revenue goals, as Target did not comment on this or provide specific theft data. Target had previously warned of potential losses of $500 million in the year due to increasing theft.

This move by Target aligns with a broader battle against organized retail crime, a type of theft that has retailers deeply concerned. Organized crime groups steal substantial quantities of merchandise and then resell it on secondary marketplaces like eBay, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace or reintroduce it into the legitimate supply chain.

One contributing factor to the rise in organized retail crime is the fact that under new criminal justice reform laws and local district attorney policies aimed at reducing mass incarceration, grand theft (which covers shoplifting) no longer results in jail time or bail requirements, regardless of how many times an individual is caught.

The consequences of large retailers like Target closing stores due to repeated theft are far-reaching, affecting the local economy, jobs, suppliers, and community services that rely on the commercial real estate taxes generated by these stores.

While Target plans to continue investing in security and partnering with law enforcement to combat retail theft, the closure of these stores represents a blow to the communities they served.
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