Nicole Norfleet, Star Tribune, September 26, 2023
Target Corp. will shutter nine stores across four states on Oct. 21 because of theft and crime, the company announced Tuesday.
Target said it made the “difficult decision” to close the stores — which include locations in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Seattle, Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area — after the Minneapolis-based company tried ineffective theft-preventive measures. The company tried adding more security, including third-party guards, and used theft deterrents like locking up merchandise.
“In this case, 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.”
In the spring, Target executives said they expected inventory shrink, which they attributed in large part to theft and organized retail crime, to reduce the company’s profitability by more than $500 million this year compared to last year. Target CEO Brian Cornell said “violent incidents” continued to increase in stores and across the retail industry.
Last month, during a call about the company’s second-quarter earnings, Cornell said during the first five months of the year, Target’s stores saw a 120% increase in theft incidents involving violence or threats of violence.