Target customers in New York City, Portland, Oregon, Seattle and San Francisco will have to find another place to shopping.
The Minneapolis-based retail giant announced plans to close stores nine store in four states due to crime. The stores will close effective Oct. 21.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
Multiple stores are being shut down in San Francisco, three in Portland and two in Seattle. The Harlem location in New York City will also be shuttered.
“Before making this decision, we invested heavily in strategies to prevent and stop theft and organized retail crime in our stores, such as adding more security team members, using third-party guard services, and implementing theft-deterrent tools across our business,” Target said. “Despite our efforts, unfortunately, we continue to face fundamental challenges to operating these stores safely and successfully.”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Target saw a 120 percent increase in theft incidents involving violence or threats of violence.
“Our team continues to face an unacceptable amount of retail theft and organized retail crime. … Shrink in the second quarter remained consistent with our expectations but well above the sustainable level where we expect to operate over time,” Target CEO Brian Cornell told the newspaper. “And unfortunately, safety incidents associated with theft are moving in the wrong direction.”
Retailers in cities run by Democrats have faced a significant battle against shoplifters. Last year Rite-Aid warned that thefts were taking a financial toll.
“(We’re) seeing a higher level of brazen shoplifting and organized retail crime, and we are taking an active role in helping the police in their pursuit of shoplifters,” a Rite Aid spokesperson told the New York Post. “Our organized retail crime team has partnered with local police precincts on approaches to mitigate this criminal activity and help make arrests and is actively working with multiple District Attorneys’ offices throughout New York City to address recidivist theft issues.”
Last week Rite-Aid announced they may shutter 500 stores under a bankruptcy plan.