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Target to shut 9 stores across 4 US states amid rising retail crime

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(Reuters) – Target said on Tuesday it would close nine stores across four U.S. states, including California, citing that theft and organized retail crime was threatening the security of the retailer’s employees and customers.

The move, effective Oct. 21, will see the closing of one store in New York City, two in Seattle, three locations across the San Francisco and Oakland markets and three in Portland.

Despite heavy investments in security, the company continued to face “fundamental challenges” to running the stores safely, the retailer said. It operates nearly 2,000 stores across the United States.

“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,” Target said in a statement.

Theft and retail crime has become an increasingly pressing issue for U.S. retailers, with organized crime rings targeting retail inventories and causing more financial loss to companies.

A report by the National Retail Federation (NRF), a trade association, earlier on Tuesday showed inventory “shrink” as a percentage of total retail sales accounted for $112.1 billion in losses in 2022, up from $93.9 billion in 2021.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Target said it would work with all eligible employees at the affected locations to offer opportunities for transfer to other Target locations.

(Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Shweta Agarwal)

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