News and Commentary

Target Will Close San Francisco Stores Early Due To Rising Thefts
A Target Corp. store in Emeryville, California, U.S., on Monday, March 1, 2021.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Retail chain Target will be closing its stores in San Francisco, California, early due to increases in shoplifting in the city.

ABC 7 reported that Target acknowledged San Francisco’s high retail crime by closing its stores earlier in the day in an attempt to cut down on shoplifting.

“For more than a month, we’ve been experiencing a significant and alarming rise in theft and security incidents at our San Francisco stores, similar to reports from other retailers in the area,” a Target spokesperson told NBC Bay Area in a statement Friday night. “Target is engaging local law enforcement, elected officials and community partners to address our concerns. With the safety of our guests, team members and communities as our top priority, we’ve temporarily reduced our operating hours in six San Francisco stores.”

The outlet noted that the retail chain will close at least five of its locations in San Francisco several hours early – at 6 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. Target already shuttered one of its Bay Area stores in response to the rising theft.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, other stores in San Francisco have already responded to increase in shoplifting by closing stores.

The increase in shoplifting has caused Walgreens to close 17 locations in San Francisco over the past five years. It still has 53 locations.

Jason Cunningham, regional vice president for pharmacy and retail operations in California and Hawaii, told the San Francisco Chronicle in May that closing the stores in San Francisco was an “unpopular and difficult decision” but that theft in San Francisco stores was four times the national average. He also said Walgreens was spending 35 times more on security guards in San Francisco than anywhere else.

CVS has faced a similar problem in the Bay Area, with 42% of its losses in the area coming from 12 stores, which accounted for just 8% of the market share. Brendan Dugan, director of organized retail crime and corporate investigations, said security guards hired by CVS and Walgreens have been assaulted. He added that the majority of shoplifting incidents at CVS came from opportunists but that professional crime accounted for 85% of dollar losses.

Dugan and others spoke at a hearing in late May regarding the issue of theft. At that same hearing, grocery chain Safeway provided a statement that said it had seen “dramatic increases” in shoplifting losses and suggested California’s Proposition 47, passed in 2014, may have caused some of the increase. The proposition increased the threshold for thefts to be considered a felony, from $450 to $950. While that may not have made a difference to small-dollar opportunistic criminals, it might have helped organized crime.

Shoplifting is just one of many problems San Francisco is currently facing. As The Daily Wire has reported, the city is battling with a wave of “wokeness” that is causing residents to flee. In February, the school board spent hours discussing whether a gay father of a mixed-race daughter was diverse enough for an all-female volunteer group. They ultimately determined he was not. That same school board spent the previous month enduring heavy criticism for deciding to rename numerous public schools based on a historically inaccurate Google Doc, claiming acronyms are a “symptom of white supremacy culture” while replacing one acronym with another, and getting sued by the city itself for failing to develop a plan to return kids to school.

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