Crime doesn’t pay — for what it takes from Walgreens pharmacies.
Walgreens announced Tuesday it will close five stores in San Francisco next month, citing “organized retail crime” as an unworkable obstacle.
“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” a Walgreens spokesperson told the Washington Examiner. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average.”
Walgreens previously increased its investment in store security measures across San Francisco to 46 times its chain average in order to combat the spike in shoplifting.
San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Ahsha Safai was vocally disappointed in the closures, saying Walgreens’s struggles show why retailers need “an expansion of the ‘10A’ program” to reduce retail theft.
Safai proposed the 10A legislation on Sept. 28, which would allow privately owned businesses or commercial business districts to hire sheriff’s deputies as security guards. The deputies could only be hired when off-duty and would be paid by the businesses themselves, according to Fox 2.
Walgreens previously closed 10 of its San Francisco stores before March this year. While the store did not provide a reason for doing so, it indicated, “The safety of our team members and customers is our top concern.” In June, a thief was filmed filling up a trash bag with Walgreens merchandise and promptly walking out the door past the security guard.
Patients with prescriptions at the stores closing will automatically have their information transferred to a nearby Walgreens within a mile radius and can expect to receive additional information through the mail. Store team members are also expected to transfer to other nearby locations.