(RightWing.org) – The 2022 National Retail Security Survey showed that retailers lost nearly $95 billion to shrink (theft) and that organized theft increased by 26.5% over the previous year. Democratic-led cities were hit particularly hard with Walmart shuttering shopping centers in Chicago and Portland and Walgreens closing pharmacies in San Francisco. Other retailers like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Bed Bath & Beyond have permanently closed stores. Giant, a popular supermarket chain in the Washington, DC, area, is considering following suit due to rising crime in the progressive-run city.
On June 26, local radio station WTOP News reported Giant Foods might be forced to shut down some DC-area stores if the recent increase in theft and violence continues. The company operates 166 stores, 153 of them with full-service pharmacies in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland.
Giant Food, which is headquartered in Landover, Maryland, may be forced to close some stores if an uptick in thefts and violence continues, the grocery store chain’s president says. https://t.co/ieZ3A4Ekm1
— WTOP (@WTOP) June 26, 2023
Giant Foods President Ira Kress told WTOP that shoplifters run off with everything from “roasts to shrimp… deodorant to razor blades.” Making matters worse, incidents of organized theft have increased throughout Washington, DC.
Kress explained that large, organized criminal groups hire “other thieves” to do their bidding. Armed with a “list of products to steal,” they hit local stores, fulfilling orders for the crime rings.
The Giant Stores’ head stressed the fact that an increase in violence has accompanied the rise in thefts. Noting that company officials have always done their best to operate their stores “safely and profitably,” he warned that if they can’t do both, the company will have “no choice” but to start closing stores. “This [situation] clearly takes a toll,” he added.
In the meantime, Giant is fighting back against the wave of theft and violence. Employee training now includes techniques for de-escalating potentially violent situations. Additionally, stores are limiting customers to 20 items per basket and are placing more items under lock and key.
Supermarket chain Giant said it is taking measures to curb theft in its 165 supermarkets across the country, including by closing some store entrances, locking items on shelves, extra security putting razor blades in boxes that trigger an alarm if opened. Surprise, look who it is pic.twitter.com/yyvl4RgScR
— Leslie (@LeslieMierow) May 30, 2023
Additionally, Giant Foods has started eliminating some secondary entrances and placing obstacles, like displays of discounted items near others, to make it more difficult for shoplifters to make a hasty retreat with their stolen items.
Kress blamed a lack of strict laws and punishments for the rise in theft and crime. He pointed out that criminals will take advantage of the situation if there are “little-to-no penalties” for shoplifting.
Copyright 2023, RightWing.org