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Target closing 9 stores citing theft, safety concerns

Officials with Target on Tuesday announced plans to close nine stores in four states as businesses continue to grapple with an uptick in retail crime.

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The stores — one in New York City, two in Seattle, three in the San Francisco Bay area and three in Portland, Oregon — will close on Oct. 21.

In a news release, Target officials said they made the decision to close the stores “because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance.”

“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.”

Company officials said “eligible team members” impacted by the impending store closures would be offered the chance to transfer to other Target locations. The eligibility requirements were not immediately clear.

The stores to close were identified as:

  • New York City’s Harlem store at 517 E 117th Street.
  • Seattle’s University Way store at 4535 University Way NE.
  • Seattle’s Ballard store at 1448 NW Market Street, Ste 100
  • San Francisco’s Folsom and 13th Street store at 1690 Folsom Street.
  • Oakland, California’s Broadway and 27th store at 2650 Broadway.
  • Pittsburg, California’s store at 4301 Century Boulevard.

The announcement from Target comes as retailers report a rising number of thefts at stores nationwide.

In a survey published by the National Retail Federation on Tuesday, businesses reported $112.1 billion in losses due to theft, up from the $93.9 billion worth of losses one year earlier.

“Retailers are seeing unprecedented levels of theft coupled with rampant crime in their stores, and the situation is only becoming more dire,” said David Johnston, NRF’s vice president for asset protection and retail operations. “Far beyond the financial impact of these crimes, the violence and concerns over safety continue to be the priority for all retailers, regardless of size or category.”

On Tuesday, Target outlined several steps taken to curb crime within its stores and shared support for the recently passed INFORM Act, which aims to deter the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods, according to CNBC.

Target operates just under 2,000 stores and more than 50 supply chain facilities nationwide.

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