A Bay Area Target store is seeing 10 thefts a day as the national chain announces $400 million in theft-related profit losses.
A Walnut Creek Target retail worker told The Standard they see roughly 10 thefts every day on average, and that clothing and shoes are some of the most frequently stolen items.
"It happens pretty frequently. Security can't touch them so they usually get away with it," the worker said.
The retail giant announced Wednesday that profit margins are down $400 million for the last quarter due in large part to retail theft.
Target CFO Michael Fiddelke told Yahoo Finance that he expects losses to hit $600 million by the end of the year.
Retail theft in the Bay is a concern well beyond Target stores. Many retail shops have increased security, and uber-popular clothing store Cotopaxi closed temporarily to increase its security measures and strike a deal with local police for more patrols.
Balboa Park Safeway staff also said they feared for their safety after a security guard was shot trying to stop a shoplifter. One Safeway security guard told The Standard that they regularly see people steal from the store and feel powerless to stop it.
San Francisco says it is cracking down on retail theft this holiday season, with Mayor Breed planning to have more cops and community ambassadors patrolling Union Square, which saw an explosion of retail theft last November.
The San Francisco Police Department said in an email that they plan to increase patrols in “high-traffic shopping areas” around San Francisco, and that they are aware that some retail theft is organized.
“We understand that there is a level of organization to these crimes. As a department we are constantly evaluating crime trends and different ways to combat those trends throughout the city. This includes the redeployment of resources and increased patrols and foot beats in crime hot spots.”
"Along with other retailers, we are experiencing a significant increase in theft and organized retail crime across our business," Target spokesperson Brian Harper-Tibaldo. "We’re partnering with law enforcement, legislators, community partners and retail trade associations to address this growing national problem, including strong support for the INFORM Consumers Act to increase accountability and prevent criminals from selling stolen goods on online marketplaces."
Garrett Leahy can be reached at [email protected]