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Why is Target Closing So Many Stores and How it Affects the Suncoast.

| Angela Naff |

Retail theft is skyrocketing and impacting many of us in bigger ways than even inflation. Yep, I said it! When you look at retailers reporting millions on top of million-dollar losses due to retail theft, this has become an epidemic that will impact every single one of us – more than it already does. How so? Well, take Target, for instance, which gives back to the communities it is located in, provides convenience shopping for millions of us, and recently indicated that nine of its stores will be shuttered as the retail theft and safety of customers in those stores were too high for the chain to maintain.

One such terrifying report shows that – When the company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings in mid-May, CEO Brian Cornell said organized retail crime had shot up at its stores. He added that shrink overall is expected to reduce Target’s full-year profitability by more than $500 million compared to the year-ago period. Now, the closing of stores to stop the hemorrhaging is starting to make a bit more sense.

In case you are wondering, Florida Target stores made the list of those being closed, as one is in Miami. You might not think that it is near the Suncoast, so we are safe – wrong. Who do you think is paying for the alarming numbers of thefts, safety incidents in these stores, and other concerns of retailers? Ding ding ding – we are as consumers. Stores have self-checkouts that treat us all as thieves just for getting our groceries bagged (on our own as that is mostly our job after finishing the shopping these days as self-checkout has become the new norm) and using staff to monitor those lines the better use of employee time. Full recordings of all our activity, searches of your bags, and treating every customer as the next problem are rampant.

Okay, that might seem like a minor inconvenience, but again, if you get in, get out, and do as you are expected to, you are good – right? Wrong! Where do you think companies are going to recover the $112 billion (yes, that is a b, not a m in the word) that they lost last year? Again, you guessed it from us, the consumer in the cost of goods sold, better technology to invade our privacy, and a cut back on services offered. The list doesn’t stop there, as you have no idea, with these mounting losses, how soon it is before more stores shutter or make even stiffer demands of shoppers (face recognition to enter is already in use in some stores, and the list will grow). Yes, you could have to prove you are a good guy before being allowed to buy milk soon enough.

The growing trends in retail theft such as Targets case study, from mob approaches to single-time incidents, all add up over time. With so many changes in our world, the supply chain, disposable income decreases, inflation, and growing concerns among the population are scary, to be sure – but the growth in thefts is only exasperating things. While someone may justify it to survive, their misdeed is coupled with millions of other incidents to create new inflation, fear, and distrust by both retailers in the places they locate stores – to consumers who fear they are tracked everyone (hint you are). There is no easy solution, and we can absolutely expect things to continue in a negative without some major crackdowns – which probably will include more security measures in the near future for a simple shopping trip.

What a crazy world we live in, and we can only shake our heads while keeping our ears to the ground on what is next in this terrible trend.

Feature Photo Courtesy of Deposit Photos

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