Target joined forces with the Department of Homeland Security because it has been losing the fight against organized retail crime, which cost the company more than $1 billion last fiscal year.
A report from TimCast said that the company told customers about the new relationship with DHS after saying that nine shops would be closing because of safety concerns and big losses from theft.
Nine locations in four states were to close, according to the company: two in Seattle, Washington; three in the San Francisco Bay Area; one in the East Harlem section of New York City; and three in Portland, Oregon.
A statement from the company said, “We cannot continue to run these stores due to the fact that theft and well-organized retail crime are putting the safety of our employees and guests at risk and causing unsustainable operational results. We know that our shops are important to the areas where they’re located, but we can only be successful if everyone feels safe while they work and shop.”
As part of its partnership with the Homeland Security Investigations team—a division that frequently handles federal offenses, particularly organized crime like fraud or trafficking—Target said that it will be making “large investments in cyber protection.”
According to Steve Francis, acting executive associate director of HSI, “organized retail criminality is causing more ruthless and violent assaults in stores across the country. A lot of the criminal rings that are planning these thefts are additionally involved in other major crimes. It is important for the safety of store employees, shoppers, and neighborhoods across the US to deal with this growing threat.”
Based on information from ABC News, Target will lose about $1.2 billion this fiscal year due to store crime. The National Retail Federation, which is the biggest trade group for the retail business, said that theft and fraud from inside and outside the store cost shops $112.1 billion in 2022. It went up from $93.9 billion in 2021.
A lot of stolen retail goods are sold on different online stores to make money, and this is an area that the DHS will be focusing on.
Reports say that Target will also hold different shop walks with federal, state, and local police to come up with a variety of ways to stop retail crime.