Despite widespread incidents of shoplifting and an increase in violence that has prompted many retailers to exit major cities across the country, one grocery chain is determined to keep its stores open and operational – but it’s losing the battle.
Giant Food, which manages 165 supermarkets in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware, has implemented various strategies to combat theft and maintain store safety, as reported by The Washington Post. These measures include limiting entrances, employing security guards, imposing item restrictions at self-checkout stands, reducing the presence of high-value items on shelves, and securing razor blades in containers that emit noise when opened.
Ira Kress, the company’s president, acknowledged a significant surge in theft, stating that it has escalated “tenfold in the last five years,” accompanied by a disproportionate rise in violence. He expressed the hope that these measures would enable them to keep stores open, even if they cause inconvenience to shoppers. Kress emphasized the importance of running stores safely and profitably, as the alternative would be unfavorable for customers.
The escalating incidents of shoplifting and safety concerns have forced several prominent retailers such as Walgreens, Nordstrom, and Whole Foods to close their stores in cities.
Over the years, fears of violent responses from shoplifters have prompted companies to revise their policies. Kress noted that in the past, they used to chase shoplifters without encountering resistance or threats. However, the landscape has changed, and the risk of encountering weapons has increased significantly, making such confrontations more hazardous.
A former employee of the recently shuttered Whole Foods store in Downtown San Francisco confirmed in the report that measures were taken to combat shoplifting, including relocating high-end merchandise to the rear of the store.
Despite being a high-end grocery chain, Giant Food had to temporarily close its flagship store due to safety concerns. Records indicated that workers at the store made over 500 emergency phone calls, frequently facing threats of violence from individuals living on the streets.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)