Among the litany of issues America currently faces, retail theft has exploded in recent years, seeing a nearly 20 percent increase in 2022. This criminal activity is a significant hindrance to the business environment, putting a strain on the financial performance of companies and small businesses.
According to a report from Seeking Alpha, retail theft increased from approximately $93.9 billion in 2021 to $112.1 billion in 2022, per data from the National Retail Federation. Unsurprisingly, this forces large companies to shut down operations in some cities where lawlessness runs rampant.
The American Tribune reported on Target’s recent announcement to close nine stores nationwide, claiming violence and theft to drive the decision. The department store will shut down stores in San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Seattle, and Harlem.
According to Target’s announcement, “At Target, we take the decision to close stores very seriously, and only do so after taking meaningful steps to invest in the guest experience and improve business performance. With that said, we have made the difficult decision to close nine Target stores across four states, effective Oct. 21.”
“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. 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.”
Among the various of issues New York City is already plagued with, the Big Apple far outpaces the national average in retail theft. In a May press conference, Attorney General Letitia James pointed out the drastic increase in New York City shoplifting.
James pointed out one of the likely drivers of the rampant retail theft being the disastrous state of Biden’s economy, that has many Americans struggling to make ends meet. In turn, this hurts enterprise and prevents so many small businesses from achieving the American dream.
“The scourge of retail theft is something that impacts our businesses and everyday New Yorkers each and every day. I know that prices are high. Inflation has been cutting into our paychecks and hard conversations have been had around kitchen tables on a daily basis, but stealing is not the answer. It is a crime that hurts businesses, hurts New Yorkers, and frankly, hurts our entire communities. Our small businesses are already struggling with high cost and low profit margins. Piling on lost revenue because of retail theft hurts these small business operators. Many of whom are simply, they want to just realize the American dream,” she said.
“There’s been a 77 percent increase in retail theft over the past five years, and we’ve seen a 45 percent increase from 2021 and 2022. This is a problem that is getting worse and that is why we are all here today, to step up and to take action. When businesses have to try and recoup lost revenue from retail theft, it basically ends up being law-abiding New Yorkers who ultimately pay the price,” James continued, pointing out the explosion in crime.
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