Target to Close 9 Stores Due to Theft and Danger to Employees

AP Photo/George Walker IV, File

Retail giant Target is closing 9 stores in San Francisco, New York, Portland, and Seattle because of losses due to theft and concerns about the safety of employees and customers.


The Minneapolis-based company said theft was “threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance.” Recently, Walmart shuttered several stores in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Portland, citing “poor performance.”

Walmart dare not say the reason was looting, although after the George Floyd riots, the writing was on the wall.

As if to prove a point, PJ Media’s Paula Bolyard has the story about massive overnight looting in Philadelphia. The scenes are like something out of a medieval nightmare — the barbarians are loosed upon the city.

It’s not like Target didn’t try to foil the thefts.


Target said that before making the “difficult decision” to shutter the nine stores, it invested heavily in “strategies to prevent and stop theft.” The company said it added security staffers, hired third-party guard services, upped its investments in cyber defense, and partnered with a U.S. Department of Homeland Security division focused on combatting retail theft. It has also invested in locking cases for products that are prone to theft, the company said.

“Despite our efforts, unfortunately, we continue to face fundamental challenges to operating these stores safely and successfully,” Target’s statement said.


“Organized retail crime, habitual theft, and violence are significant challenges for retailers of all sizes,” the Retail Industry Leaders Association said in a statement. They added that Target’s announcement reflects “the substantial problems that exist in communities across the U.S.”

It’s not just a security issue. These smash-and-grab robberies are costing the company real money. Executives say that the cost of “shrink” — losses due to theft and bad record keeping — will cost the company $500 million in profits. The losses approaches one-fifth of the company’s $2.7 billion in profits last year.

Related: Widespread Mass Looting Overnight in Philly

While “shoplifting” (crimes involving less than $950 of merchandise) has remained steady, burglary (crimes involving more than $950) has risen by 15.7%. And the fact that the crime is concentrated in a few areas means some stores get hit very hard.

While most of these mass looting incidents don’t involve violence, it’s because employees are told to stay out of the thieves’ way. That doesn’t work all the time.

Wall Street Journal:

Target’s announcement follows a string of violent incidents at retailers. A CVS store manager in Mesa, Ariz. was fatally shot earlier this month after suspecting a man was stealing from the store.

Cornell said in August that the company has seen a 120% increase in theft incidents which involve violence or threats in the first five months of this year. The company hasn’t provided the number of incidents.


Residents of San Francisco and other high-crime cities don’t like to be reminded of their failed efforts to curb crime by “reforming” the criminal justice system. Not enforcing the law is an open invitation for anti-social criminals to thumb their noses at police and society by taking whatever isn’t nailed down in a retail store and laughing about it.

And not punishing these criminals is creating an entire generation of lawbreakers who don’t fear police or incarceration since they’ll be released almost as fast as a prosecutor and a judge can find any reason at all to do so.


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