Key Points

  • Target to Close Nine Stores: Target, one of America's largest retail chains, has announced the closure of nine stores in major cities, citing violence, theft, and organized retail crime as the primary reasons.
  • Concerns Over Safety: The retail giant expressed concerns over the safety of its employees and customers, highlighting that the surge in theft and organized retail crime has created an unsustainable business environment.
  • Shrink Impact: Target has been vocal about the impact of organized retail crime on its operations. The company mentioned that such criminal activities have led to increased shrink, resulting in substantial financial losses.
  • Store Closure Date: These nine stores will be permanently closed on October 21, 2023.
  • Advocacy for Legislative Reform: Target's decision to close stores and attribute it directly to retail crime is noteworthy. The company, along with others in the retail industry, is advocating for legislative reforms to combat organized retail crime.

In a significant move, Target, one of the leading retail chains in the United States, has announced the closure of nine stores located in major cities. The decision comes as the company grapples with rising concerns related to violence, theft, and organized retail crime at these locations. Target, with nearly 2,000 stores across the country, has been vocal about the challenges posed by organized retail crime in recent times.

The stores slated for closure are situated in prominent urban areas, including one in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, two in Seattle, three in the San Francisco-Oakland region, and three more in Portland, Oregon. These stores will cease operations permanently on October 21, 2023.

In an official statement, Target explained the rationale behind this decision, stating, "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. 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."

The retail giant has been increasingly concerned about organized retail crime affecting its operations. This criminal activity has resulted in higher levels of shrink, which is an industry term denoting losses incurred from damaged, misplaced, or stolen goods. In Target's case, shrink has become a significant concern, impacting the company's profitability.

CEO Brian Cornell acknowledged the rise in organized retail crime during the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings report. He expressed that shrink, primarily attributed to theft, is expected to reduce Target's full-year profitability by over $500 million compared to the previous year. However, Cornell emphasized the company's reluctance to close stores, highlighting their significance in local communities, job creation, and tax generation.

Cornell stated, "We do not want to close stores. We know how important our stores are. They create local jobs, they generate taxes, they're very important for those local shoppers, and they play a critical role in communities across the country. We'll continue to do everything in our power to keep our doors open."

Target's stance on this issue has prompted other companies in the retail sector to voice their concerns and advocate for legislative reform. The passage of the Inform Act, which mandates online marketplaces to disclose the identities of high-volume sellers to combat the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods, marked a significant step. Currently, retailers and trade associations are pushing for the passage of the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act.

This proposed legislation seeks stricter penalties for theft offenses and changes in the threshold for federal theft cases. It also aims to establish the Organized Retail Crime Coordination Center, providing retailers with a formal platform to share information with each other and law enforcement agencies.

Since 2022, at least nine states, six of them this year, have enacted laws imposing harsher penalties for organized retail crime. Retailers and trade associations have played a pivotal role in the development and promotion of such bills, demonstrating their commitment to combatting organized retail crime.

Target's decision to close stores and its active support for legislative reforms underscores the urgency of addressing organized retail crime, not just as a corporate concern but as an issue that affects communities and the economy at large. As the retail industry faces evolving challenges, stakeholders are working together to protect businesses, employees, and customers while ensuring the continued vitality of the retail sector.


  • Ticker TGT
  • Exchange NYSE
  • Sector Consumer Defensive
  • Industry Discount Stores
  • Shares Outstandng 460,263,008
  • Market Cap $75.9B
  • Description
  • Target Corporation operates as a general merchandise retailer in the United States. The company offers food assortments, including perishables, dry grocery, dairy, and frozen items; apparel, accessories, home décor products, electronics, toys, seasonal offerings, food, and other merchandise; and beauty and household essentials. It also provides ...
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