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Target to close 9 stores amid increased theft and violence

Target said organized theft and the risks from dangerous conditions were too great for staff and customers at the stores.
Target to close 9 stores amid increased theft and violence
Posted at 2:56 PM, Sep 26, 2023

Target has announced plans to close nine stores in four different states next month.

Target will close a store in Harlem, in New York City; two stores in Seattle, Washington; three stores in San Francisco and Oakland, California, and three stores in Portland, Oregon.

"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 retailer said in a statement announcing the closures.

Target said it had ramped up its security presence and added new theft deterrent measures, but ultimately found conditions too challenging to continue running the stores.

On a recent earnings call, Target CEO Brian Cornell said instances of violent theft in stores had climbed 120% over the first five months of 2023.

He said the company faced "an unacceptable amount of retail theft and organized retail crime."

SEE MORE: Retail theft surge driving businesses to explore more safety options

This year the National Retail Federation reported the industry-wide rate of shrink, a term for the loss of products due to theft, increased from 1.4% to 1.6% year over year.

But the report found safety risks and increasing violence were a growing concern for retailers, and that those risks aren't necessarily well-represented by the existing metrics.

"Today’s issue of retail theft and violence will not be resolved by looking at financial shrink percentages," the NRF's report reads. "We, as a society, need to see what is happening and focus on correcting the root cause of these crimes."

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