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Target Canada Store Closing

Big-box stores are seeing a higher number of closures for a variety of reasons, some of them largely economic. However, a phenomenon known as organized retail crime is a tactic used by thieves to target large retailers for their pricier items, causing a financial hit to stores that they seemingly can’t weather any longer.

CNN Business published a report opening with details involving Target, a nationwide big-box store that recently stated that it will close nine of its stores in major metropolitan areas due to high theft. Speaking with industry analysts, the outlet discovered that the rise of organized retail crime is having a larger effect on the bottom lines of major retailers, along with slowed customer spending.

More from CNN Business:

At issue is a particular type of store theft that loss prevention experts classify as “organized retail crime” or ORC. This isn’t a crime of need where an individual grabs an item or two, such as baby formula or food. It’s more insidious, and costly, companies and law enforcement say.

ORC theft involves groups of people targeting stores that carry higher-value merchandise like electronics, sporting goods, cosmetics, clothing, handbags and shoes. The groups steal large quantities of products and then resell them in secondary marketplaces, such as eBay, OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace or even back into the legitimate supply chain, according to law enforcement.

Shopping malls and high-end stores in large cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York have suffered a spate of dangerous smash-and-grab attacks over the last year in which perpetrators have used sledgehammers and other equipment to break into stores and make off with several thousand dollars in merchandise.

As the excerpt above notes, many of the big-box store closures are happening in urban areas which opens another layer of discussion about the conditions of the neighborhoods these stores reside. Also of concern is looting happening in urban areas, which can be both a crime of pent-up frustrations about said conditions and also opportunity.

That said, some of these stores exist in food deserts and are often the only stores offering goods in a particular radius. That said, CNN’s piece highlights that some stores are introducing theft reduction measures such as keeping stocked items out of public view and limiting aisles for checkout.

Read the full piece here.

Photo: Getty