Friday, February 9, 2024

Under Siege: Retailers Flee Cities as Unarmed Security, Public Authorities Fail to Curb Thefts; Target Announces Store Closures In Blue Cities, Citing Theft And Concerns About ‘Guest Safety’

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Under siege: Retailers flee cities as unarmed security, public authorities fail to curb thefts:
Businesses have cited the rise of online shopping and declining in-store profits for pulling out of urban centers from San Francisco to New York, but insiders see a deeper problem: Unarmed security staff’s inability to keep employees and merchandise safe is driving away workers and shoppers in big cities with soft-on-crime policies.
• Last week, armed thieves stabbed a loss prevention officer who attempted to stop them from looting a Safeway supermarket in Kensington, Maryland, just outside the District of Columbia.
• In December, a thief fatally stabbed a Macy’s security guard in Philadelphia.
• In April, a Home Depot security guard in Pleasanton, California, was gunned down after he caught a woman stealing.
Walmart and Target each eclipsed $500 million in retail theft losses last year, so the retail giants’ store closures in cities “where theft has gotten out of control” are no surprise, said Kristin Moss, chief ambassador for, which offers online discounts for more than 10,000 U.S. retailers.
Last year, Target closed nine stores in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, over safety concerns. Ms. Moss pointed to data showing a concentration of Walmart stores with the highest retail losses in cities with the lowest prosecution rates for shoplifting.
“This is a trend common among retailers and small businesses that are forced to leave such areas,” she told The Washington Times.
An analysis by J.P. Morgan found San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Miami had fewer retail businesses in the fourth quarter of 2023 than before the pandemic.
More merchants are pulling out of inner cities as corporate offices order employees not to interfere with thefts. They have opted to absorb the losses rather than risk the liabilities of violent confrontations.
Stores nationwide have locked specific merchandise, such as Dove soap, behind plastic shields, hired unarmed security guards and trained employees to deter theft without violence.
The trend has even reached stores that eliminated positions and converted to self-checkout to save money during pandemic labor shortages. --->READ MORE HERE
Target Announces Store Closures In Blue Cities, Citing Theft And Concerns About ‘Guest Safety’:
Target announced Tuesday that it is closing a number of its shops in blue cities, citing theft and violence concerns to its clientele and employees in those areas.
Target’s press release announced that nine of its stores in Portland, San Francisco/Oakland, Seattle, and New York City will be closing effective Oct. 21 due to organized theft and violence threatening employee and “guest safety.” Target stated that “all eligible team members will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other Target locations.”
Target also announced that they were continuing to make investments to enhance their stores’ security, the press release said. The announcement stands out due to the company explicitly citing a violence and theft problem in these cities as the reason for the closures, CNBC reported.
Target says it will close nine stores in major cities, citing violence and theft

— CNBC (@CNBC) September 26, 2023
“We do not want to close stores. We know how important our stores are. They create local jobs, they generate taxes, they’re very important for those local shoppers, and they play a critical role in communities across the country,” Target’s CEO Brian Cornell told the news outlet in May.
“At the same time, we’ll be closely monitoring the safety of our team and guests as well as the financial impact to our business.” --->READ MORE HERE
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