Posted on August 15, 2023

Shoplifting Threatens Closure of SE DC Grocery Store, Creating Potential Food Desert

Nick Minock, WJLA, August 11, 2023

Concerns are growing in Washington, D.C. about some major grocery stores being able to keep their doors open due to shoplifting.

During a news conference Friday, D.C. Councilman Trayon White said he spoke to the regional management of a popular Giant Food store on Alabama Avenue Southeast.

“We had the opportunity to meet with some of the leadership of this Giant,” White said. “Some of the regional leadership at this Giant, what we heard was disheartening. We learned that this Giant has lost over $500,000 in product loss, which is about 20% of the sales. We know it’s tough times and we know the price of food has skyrocketed in the last three years. But we cannot afford to hurt ourselves by constantly taking it from the store. It means that everybody is going to be without a place to eat. And enough is enough.”


“To date, this Giant has had at least 135 stops from people stealing from the store,” he said. “And they almost double that amount that didn’t get stopped.”


“We also learn that Giant’s leadership has spent over $300,000 in security,” said White. “But that did not derail the people from stealing. In fact, the regional manager told us that people will have stuff in their carts walking straight through the door — straight through the door! With grocery carts full. We have to build bridges for people. But taking from this store is taking from yourself. We are home to seniors and elders who have to eat at this store.”

White said the Giant Food store may not survive losing 20% of its revenue every month due to shoplifting. The grocery store is one of only four major grocery store locations east of the Anacostia River. It’s busy. People rely on it. But White warns ongoing shoplifting may force the grocery store to close.