Thursday 27 April 2023

San Fran Target store locks products behind glass security cabinets

 A Target store in San Francisco has taken to locking products behind security glass amid rising retail theft in the City by the Bay.

According to the Daily Mail, a video posted April 20 on TikTok showed the big-box retailer’s new security measure. “This is what my Target in [San Francisco] looks like now,” read the video’s caption. The clip featured an aisle of personal care products, all stored behind security glass.

The measure appears to have been in place for some time now. Geotagged images showed some products at the aforementioned Target on Folsom Street being locked away from customers since at least October 2022.

“Like other retailers, organized retail crime is a concern across our business,” a Target spokesperson told the Daily Mail. “We’re taking proactive measures to keep our teams and guests safe while deterring and preventing theft.”

The spokesperson outlined these measures that include hiring additional security guards; adding third-party guard services at select locations; and using new technologies and tools to protect merchandise from being stolen.  

“We are working with legislators, law enforcement and retail industry partners to support public policy that would help achieve our goals of creating a safe environment in our stores and keeping our doors open in communities across the country.”

Industry groups have noted that retail theft has become a huge problem.

A 2022 survey by the National Retail Federation revealed that organized retail crime is setting stores back around $100 billion a year. The same survey found that in 2021, retailers have seen a 27 percent increase in theft carried out by organized criminal rings. Thus, companies invested more money in safety and security measures to protect employees, customers and merchandise.

Retail crime collapsing the City by the Bay

Earlier in April, the flagship Whole Foods Market (WFM) in San Francisco closed down more than a year after it opened. The 65,000-square-foot WFM at Trinity Place opened in March 2022, with the company calling its design a homage to “classic San Francisco.” It sold more than 3,700 products from Northern California, including produce from nearby farms and hundreds of wines from local vineyards.

A WFM spokesperson dubbed the move a “difficult decision,” and noted that the closure will only be temporary and that staff members will be transferred to nearby WFM locations.

While WFM did not state specific reasons for the Trinity Place branch’s closure, the San Francisco Standard disclosed that nearby crime and drug use were the real reasons behind it. The independent newspaper cited a source inside the San Francisco City Hall for its revelation.

Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who represents the district where the flagship WFM location is, lamented the closure of the grocery. He tweeted that he was “incredibly disappointed, but sadly [not surprised]” with the move.

Dorsey also attested to the neighborhood’s visible issues, zeroing in on retail theft and drug-related crime. The supervisor noted the “adjacent drug markets” and “the many safety issues related to them” as well-known issues in the vicinity of the now-closed WFM

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