Retailer cites ‘organized crime’ as the problem
“Due to ongoing organized retail crime, we have made the difficult decision to close five stores in San Francisco,” a Walgreens spokesperson said in a statement to Granthshala Business. “Each store will transfer prescriptions within a one-mile radius to a nearby Walgreens location and we expect to have team members at the store in other nearby locations.”
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“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers in San Francisco, and we are not immune from it,” the spokesperson continued. “Retail theft in our San Francisco stores has been increasing by five times our chain average over the past few months. To help combat this issue during this time, we have increased our investment in security measures in stores across the city 46 times average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”
Stores closing in the coming weeks are at 2250 Ocean Avenue, 4645 Mission Street, 745 Clement Street, 300 Gough Street and 3400 Cesar Chavez Street.
According to the San Francisco Gate, Walgreens has closed at least 10 of its stores in the city since the beginning of 2019.
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During the summer, the California Retailers Association reported that San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento have the highest number of organized retail crimes in the country.
But organized retail crime is also an issue in many other parts of the country.
Walgreens also fell victim to a father-daughter duo in Georgia who was sentenced Tuesday by the Fed for pocketing millions of dollars after selling stolen retail products in recent years.
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The Justice Department reported that Robert Whitley and Noni Whitley ran online businesses selling items picked up from Atlanta stores by paid shoppers whose targets included Walgreens, CVS, Kroger and Publix.
Both Whitley were sentenced to five or more years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $4 million in compensation to the affected retailers.