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Target to partner with Homeland Security to battle organized retail theft — company expects to lose over $1 billion due to crime
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Target to partner with Homeland Security to battle organized retail theft — company expects to lose over $1 billion due to crime

Target announced a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security as a result of a losing battle with organized retail crime that has caused the corporation to expect over $1 billion in losses in the last fiscal year.

The company notified customers of the new DHS partnership after announcing that nine stores would be closed because of substantial losses due to theft, as well as safety concerns, TimCast reported.

The company announced the closure of nine stores across four states: one in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood; three in the San Francisco Bay Area; three in Portland, Oregon; and two in Seattle, Washington.

"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 statement. "We know that our stores serve an important role in their communities, but we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all."

Target said that it will make “significant investments in cyber defense” while partnering with the Homeland Security Investigations team, a department that often deals with federal crimes, specifically organized crime like fraud or trafficking.

“Organized retail crime is leading to more brazen, more violent attacks in retail stores throughout the country, and many of the criminal rings orchestrating these thefts are also involved in other serious criminal activity,” said HSI acting executive associate director Steve Francis. “Tackling this growing threat is important to the safety of store employees, customers, and communities across the country.”

ABC News estimated that Target will lose approximately $1.2 billion in the current fiscal year from retail theft. The National Retail Federation, the largest trade group for the retail industry, said internal and external theft and fraud cost retailers $112.1 billion in losses in 2022. Up from $93.9 billion in 2021.

Much of the retail merchandise that gets stolen ends up being sold on various online outlets for profits, which will be a sector targeted by the DHS.

Target will also reportedly host different store walks with federal, state, and local law enforcement to develop an array of strategies to prevent retail crime.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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