Grocer’s Plight Highlights Surge In Thefts

Another retail chain expressed difficulty in keeping its locations open due to significant theft and quality of life issues. Giant Food is currently struggling with a sharp increase in theft and violence at its 165 locations, mostly in the area surrounding the nation’s capital.

The retailer’s president Ira Kress told the Washington Post that the chain has seen an increase in shoplifting of at least “tenfold in the last five years.” He also described the rise of violence within its stores as increasing “exponentially.”

“The last thing I want to do is close stores,” Kress said. “But I’ve got to be able to run them safely and profitably.”

Giant Food’s president said that the store “used to chase shoplifters” and was able to “get the product back.” He added that the shoplifters would not fight the store employees in the past. 

“I didn’t worry about somebody pulling a knife or gun on me,” he said.

A number of retailers announced location closures following a nationwide spike in crime.

Perhaps the most high-profile city facing an increase in theft and resulting retail restrictions has been San Francisco.

A number of large companies announced that they would be closing or relocating their locations in downtown San Francisco. Clothing retailer Gap closed or is in the process of closing a number of its stores in the city, including Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than two-dozen stores announced their closure in downtown San Francisco. These include the closure of CVS and Walgreens in the city, as well as a number of smaller independent businesses.

Whole Foods recently announced the closure of its flagship store in the city. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that all 250 shopping baskets at the location were stolen.

The city saw a significant increase in crime of many types in 2022. This includes a rise in thefts from vehicles as well as larceny theft. The overall increase in crime also comes at a time when many incidents are no longer reported to the police.