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Target is pulling up stakes on select stores in crime-ridden, Democratic cities, joining the host of other retailers looking for greener pastures. Evidently the company's efforts to lock aisles of products behind security glass wasn't a winning solution.
The company is shuttering nine stores across four states: one in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood; three in the San Francisco Bay Area; three in Oregon's increasingly anarchical city of Portland; and two in Seattle, Washington.
A combined 150 stores will remain in the geographies affected by the Oct. 21 closures, reported ABC News.
According to Neighborhood Scout, the chances of becoming a victim of a property crime in these areas is: 1 in 51 in New York City; 1 in 20 in San Francisco and 1 in 17 in Oakland, CA; 1 in 17 in Portland; and 1 in 18 in Seattle.
The company made clear that the reason behind the closure was crime, reported CNN.
"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."
ABC News indicated losses for the company could top $1.2 billion this fiscal year.
The National Retail Federation, the largest trade group for the retail industry, said Tuesday that shrink — a catch-all term for internal and external theft and fraud — cost retailers $112.1 billion in losses last year. In 2021, the cost of shrink was $93.9 billion.
This appears to be an aggressively worsening trend.
"Retailers are seeing unprecedented levels of theft coupled with rampant crime in their stores, and the situation is only becoming more dire," said NRF vice president of asset protection and retail operations David Johnston. "Far beyond the financial impact of these crimes, the violence and concerns over safety continue to be the priority for all retailers, regardless of size or category."
Ever-worsening crime has similarly chased other stores and companies out of Democrat-run cities.
For instance, AT&T announced in June that it would be closing its flagship store in San Francisco — where police have indicated there have been 24,018 reports of larceny theft, 2,039 robberies, 4,186 burglaries, 1,789 assaults, and 40 murders so far this year — citing changing "shopping habits."
TheBlaze previously noted that consumer shopping habits in San Francisco have changed drastically since leftists successfully passed proposition 47 in 2014 — a leftist California ballot initiative that effectively decriminalized thefts under $950.
Cinemark Holdings, Inc. similarly revealed this summer that it too was ditching the crime-ridden and excrement-littered city, shuttering its theater in the downtown Westfield San Francisco Centre mall.
Nordstrom's chief store officer indicated in May it was closing its anchor location in the Westfield mall, citing dramatic changes in the "dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market." Whole Foods also cut and ran.
Crime statistics in neighboring Oakland, which has also done a great job repelling business, paint just as bleak a picture. As of Aug. 27, violent crime was up 19% this year over last year. Robberies are up 30%; rapes, 6%; burglaries, 44%; and motor vehicle thefts, 52%.
Portland too has seen an exodus of business in recent months.
In March, Walmart announced it was closing its last two remaining stores, not long after CEO Doug McMillon warned the company had seen a significant spike in thefts, reported the New York Post.
McMillon told CNBC, "Theft is an issue. It's higher than what it has historically been."
According to the Portland Police Bureau, there were 5,998 burglary, 24,675 larceny offenses, 1,407 robberies, 340 arson, 10,026 assault offenses, and 104 murder reports between August 2022 and August 2023.
So far this year, Seattle had over 25,000 property crimes and 3,470 violent crimes, including 42 murders and 205 rapes, according to the Seattle Police Department crime dashboard.
Police reckon Democratic policies barring judges from jailing or requiring bail for thieves, regardless of how many times the crooks have committed the act, have largely contributed to this problem, reported CNN.
The vast majority of respondents to the NRF's 2023 National Retail Security Survey appeared to agree with this assessment by police, with 72% claiming that they had seen an increase in the average value per incident in localities that raised minimum felony thresholds and another 67% reporting an increase in repeat offenders in geographies where cash bail was reduced or eliminated.
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.