Target announced Tuesday that nine of its stores across the country will be closed.
The company will close stores in New York City, the San Francisco Bay area, Portland and Seattle, explicitly citing retail theft as the driving factor for the closures.
"We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance," the company said in a press release.
The retail chain operates about 1,950 stores in the U.S., so Tuesday's announcement would shrink Target's footprint by less than 1%.
This is not the first time the company has called out organized retail crime as a trend. In its first quarter earnings call in May, Target CEO Brian Cornell said retail theft was “a worsening trend that emerged last year.”
“The problem affects all of us, limiting product availability, creating a less convenient shopping experience, and putting our team and guests in harm’s way,” Cornell said on the call.
The stores will remain open until October 21 after which employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other stores, according to the release.
Where is Target closing stores?
New York City, Harlem: 517 E 117th Street
Seattle, University Way: 4535 University Way NE
Seattle, Ballard: 1448 NW Market St, Ste 100
San Fransisco, Folsom and 13th St: 1690 Folsom St
Oakland, Broadway & 27th: 2650 Broadway
Pittsburg, Calif. : 4301 Century Blvd
Portland, Galleria: 939 SW Morrison St
Portland, Powell: 3031 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, Hollywood: 4030 NE Halsey St
What does the data say?
Retailers have been increasingly concerned about a loss of profits because of shrinkage – an industry term that refers to the difference between the inventory a store has on its balance sheet and its actual inventory.
A 2022 report from the NRF found $94.5 billion in losses in 2021 because of shrink, up from $90.8 billion in 2020.
But the average shrink rate actually dropped from 1.6% to 1.4%, according to their findings, meaning the dollar figure spike could be attributed to higher prices because of inflation rather than a spike in shrink or theft.
David Johnston, vice president of asset protection and retail operations at the National Retail Federation, a retail trade association told USA TODAY that while NRF believes 37% of 2021’s shrink loss was related to external theft, those estimates are “not scientific.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Target set to close nine stores due to 'organized retail crime'