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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 2:25 PM
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Walgreens cited shoplifting as rationale for closing 5 stores in San Francisco, but..

I knew this somehow didn't jibe with me... Corporations dictate the narrative after all, especially in the US.

Walgreens is everywhere in San Francisco. If a few of them are closing, it's because there are too many of them.

From Yahoo! News/Business Insider:

Walgreens cited shoplifting as rationale for closing 5 stores in San Francisco, but local officials, data, and experts cast doubt on that explanation

Morgan Keith
Sun, October 17, 2021, 5:09 PM | 3 min read

-Walgreens said it's closing some San Francisco stores because of an increase in retail theft.

-Police data obtained by the Chronicle did not show high rates of shoplifting reports at the closing stores.

-One expert said people moving out of the city during the pandemic could've hurt Walgreens' business.

Walgreens announced Tuesday it would be closing five of its San Francisco locations due to "organized retail crime," but police department data, local officials, and policy experts are casting doubt on that reasoning, according to a report published by the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday.

While the report said the chain has experienced retail theft, other factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaturation of stores were cited as potential factors behind the decision to close the stores.

Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso said retail theft across its San Francisco locations has increased in the past few months to five times the chain's average, SFGate reported.

However, San Francisco Police Department data obtained by the Chronicle contradicts Walgreens' claims, with one of the stores slated to close reporting only 23 shoplifting incidents since 2018. Some incidents of shoplifting likely go unreported, but the closing stores had on average less than two shoplifting reports per month since 2018.

"Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that," Caruso told SFGate. "During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment."

San Francisco Mayor London Breed pushed back against Walgreens' stated reasoning for closing the stores.

"They are saying (shoplifting is) the primary reason, but I also think when a place is not generating revenue, and when they're saturated - SF has a lot of Walgreens locations all over the city - so I do think that there are other factors that come into play," she told reporters last week.

Dean Preston, supervisor of San Francisco's 5th district, which will be impacted by a store closure, said the pharmacy chain is "abandoning the community" and has "long planned to close stores," the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"Odd that some are so offended that I would suggest that a massive corporate chain might be closing retail locations for the exact reason they told investors they would close locations, rather than the reasons stated in their external PR," Preston said in a tweet on Friday.

In a 2019 Security and Exchange Commission filing, Walgreens announced it would launch a "Transformational Cost Management Program" that would shutter 200 stores in the US in order to save $1.5 billion in annual expenses by 2022.

A May study published by Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom found 15% of residents left San Francisco during the pandemic and have not returned, which he told the Chronicle could explain Walgreens' waning customer base in the city.

San Francisco does have relatively high rates of property crime, which criminal justice researcher Magnus Lofstrom told the Chronicle could be due in part to the Bay Area's vast income equality.

Walgreens did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Link: https://news.yahoo.com/walgreens-cit...000957839.html
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 2:36 PM
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I knew that was bs when they announced it months ago. Chains account for shrinkage in their pricing.
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 2:45 PM
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Keep in mind that most shoplifting isn't reported anymore because it's not even a slap on the wrist for less than $950
     
     
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 2:47 PM
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Originally Posted by LosAngelesSportsFan View Post
Keep in mind that most shoplifting isn't reported anymore because it's not even a slap on the wrist for less than $950
I would guess that they write-off the losses or claim it in insurance somewhere. There should be a paper trail.
     
     
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 3:27 PM
mhays mhays is offline
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So the newspaper is basing all of this on a lack of police reports? Are they morons?
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
So the newspaper is basing all of this on a lack of police reports? Are they morons?
I guess you didn't read the article, or at least not the whole article?

Quote:
Dean Preston, supervisor of San Francisco's 5th district, which will be impacted by a store closure, said the pharmacy chain is "abandoning the community" and has "long planned to close stores," the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"Odd that some are so offended that I would suggest that a massive corporate chain might be closing retail locations for the exact reason they told investors they would close locations, rather than the reasons stated in their external PR," Preston said in a tweet on Friday.

In a 2019 Security and Exchange Commission filing, Walgreens announced it would launch a "Transformational Cost Management Program" that would shutter 200 stores in the US in order to save $1.5 billion in annual expenses by 2022.

Walgreens did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Again, corporations dictate/like to dictate the narrative.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 4:09 PM
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Legal shoplifting is just part of the San Francisco lifestyle, $900 dollars is basically pocket change am I right?

This is delusional, But by all means keep making the bay unlivable. What a shame.
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 4:15 PM
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Legal shoplifting is just part of the San Francisco lifestyle, $900 dollars is basically pocket change am I right?

This is delusional, But by all means keep making the bay unlivable. What a shame.
And it's opinions and attitudes like this that play into and perpetuate that corporate narrative. People with these opinions seem to WANT to believe the corporations more than actual substantive facts.
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 4:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
And it's opinions and attitudes like this that play into and perpetuate that corporate narrative. People with these opinions seem to WANT to believe the corporations more than actual substantive facts.
Or people just believe their own eyes and can accept that yes, theft may be a part of why stores are being selected for closure.

I have seen random YT videos of SF Walgreens thefts and I did a quick search on there and it told me all that I needed to know. I get to see this same nonsense all over parts of the Philly area and it's no surprise to me why chain retailers are closing up shop in certain areas.
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  #10  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 4:34 PM
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Or people just believe their own eyes and can accept that yes, theft may be a part of why stores are being selected for closure.

I have seen random YT videos of SF Walgreens thefts and I did a quick search on there and it told me all that I needed to know. I get to see this same nonsense all over parts of the Philly area and it's no surprise to me why chain retailers are closing up shop in certain areas.
Not saying that shoplifting doesn't happen, but for a corporation to claim that THAT'S THE ONLY REASON for closing a store or a bunch of stores, is bullshit, IMO.

Shrinkage is taken into account in retail, and as was previously stated, is a tax write-off, for mom and pops as well as franchises and corporate chains.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 4:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
I guess you didn't read the article, or at least not the whole article?

Again, corporations dictate/like to dictate the narrative.
So because they said they would close stores, you are convinced that they are lying about the reasoning behind the decision to close these 5 particular stores?

Maybe the high rates of theft are the reason these stores were selected to be among the closures. That’s how it’s likely to work - too many stores, overlapping catchment areas, decision to shutter some of them - then it’s about starting from the long list and coming up with 200 to mark for closure. This might well have been one of the criteria they looked at (along with, you can be sure, gross sales/sales per square foot, store level EBITDA, number of scripts, remaining lease term/breakage costs, etc) or the deciding factor for these specific closures.
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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 4:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Obadno View Post
Legal shoplifting is just part of the San Francisco lifestyle, $900 dollars is basically pocket change am I right?

This is delusional, But by all means keep making the bay unlivable. What a shame.
This makes the Bay more livable. It makes it easier for small business to compete when there isn't a Walgreens on every block. And the more bougie crowd gets offended and leaves town, the cheaper the rent gets for everyone else. And it lowers the price of basic goods by making them available at a discount outside of 24th St BART. It's a win-win-win for livability!
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 4:43 PM
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So because they said they would close stores, you are convinced that they are lying about the reasoning behind the decision to close these 5 particular stores?

Maybe the high rates of theft are the reason these stores were selected to be among the closures. That’s how it’s likely to work - too many stores, overlapping catchment areas, decision to shutter some of them - then it’s about starting from the long list and coming up with 200 to mark for closure. This might well have been one of the criteria they looked at (along with, you can be sure, gross sales/sales per square foot, store level EBITDA, number of scripts, remaining lease term/breakage costs, etc) or the deciding factor for these specific closures.
Please see my post above yours.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 4:53 PM
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Some people seem to applaud the erosion of basic societal norms. There's nothing 'bougie' about objecting to routine looting of drug stores. It's absurd that people are even defending it.

And the whole notion that no one is harmed by this theft because there's insurance or businesses budget for 'shrinkage' or whatever is just rationalizing this shitty behavior. Those costs are passed on to the other consumers, and theft absolutely plays a role in determining store closures. It's not the sole reason, but it's definitely a factor that the company considers when looking to close stores. If the store stays open, everything gets locked up and you have to call an employee over to unlock the case just so you can buy some toothpaste. Who wants to live like that? I guess if you're cool buying stolen goods in front of a BART station, that's a way around the hassle. Give me a break.

Prop 47 is a disaster and needs to be repealed.
     
     
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 4:54 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
So because they said they would close stores, you are convinced that they are lying about the reasoning behind the decision to close these 5 particular stores?

Maybe the high rates of theft are the reason these stores were selected to be among the closures. That’s how it’s likely to work - too many stores, overlapping catchment areas, decision to shutter some of them - then it’s about starting from the long list and coming up with 200 to mark for closure. This might well have been one of the criteria they looked at (along with, you can be sure, gross sales/sales per square foot, store level EBITDA, number of scripts, remaining lease term/breakage costs, etc) or the deciding factor for these specific closures.
Even if that's why they decided to close those stores, that's not the reason they're closing stores in SF.
     
     
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 5:23 PM
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Originally Posted by LosAngelesSportsFan View Post
Keep in mind that most shoplifting isn't reported anymore because it's not even a slap on the wrist for less than $950
Bingo. Police data on this will be bogus due to chronic underreporting. I don't buy the official explanation for the closures, but using police data on reported thefts is flawed.
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 5:33 PM
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Some people seem to applaud the erosion of basic societal norms. There's nothing 'bougie' about objecting to routine looting of drug stores. It's absurd that people are even defending it.

And the whole notion that no one is harmed by this theft because there's insurance or businesses budget for 'shrinkage' or whatever is just rationalizing this shitty behavior. Those costs are passed on to the other consumers, and theft absolutely plays a role in determining store closures. It's not the sole reason, but it's definitely a factor that the company considers when looking to close stores. If the store stays open, everything gets locked up and you have to call an employee over to unlock the case just so you can buy some toothpaste. Who wants to live like that? I guess if you're cool buying stolen goods in front of a BART station, that's a way around the hassle. Give me a break.

Prop 47 is a disaster and needs to be repealed.
Looting and shoplifting are not the same thing.

And ultimately, profit determines a store's closing, not acts of shoplifting by itself. When I was young, I knew someone who worked at a Crate & Barrel, and I was very surprised to learn that they got shoplifted more often than you'd think (even employees were stealing some of the merch)---but they didn't close that store. Goods get damaged too, and of course I'm sure you know shrinkage also includes damaged/defective inventory.

Prop 47 didn't eliminate punishment for crimes, it changed some non-violent offenses from being felonies to misdemeanors. I'm no criminal law expert, but I don't doubt that having multiple misdemeanors on your record wouldn't be a good thing for you, especially if you were trying to get a job or apply for a professional license.

I think some people are only choosing to connect some dots and not connecting ALL the dots. Wealth inequality in San Francisco is extremely high, and has gotten very high within the last 10-15 years. Is this alleged rise in theft in SF due solely to Prop 47, or hey, just maybe, it's also due to the rising wealth inequality? I've never been in that situation, (not yet, anyway), but I'm sure when people get desperate, they'll steal things like toothpaste or mouthwash, or shaving razors or shampoo.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 5:34 PM
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This reminds me of the discussion about food deserts.

A regional supermarket chain or intendent grocery will close a store citing low profit margins in a poor or minority neighborhood leaving little options nearby for the residents. The local politicians scream out that they are abandoning the community, and they say they should be able to make enough money to stay open.

The problem is that's not how it works. A business owner can decide weather to operate or discontinue a shop. As long as they didn't accept any economic development incentives for opening or in bankruptcy proceeding, the government doesn't get to dictate that a private business owner must operate their business, especially if it's operating at a loss.

This is why I believe a little gentrification can be a good thing. There needs to be a critical mass of shoppers, enough to make it lucrative enough for a supermarket to stay in the neighborhood.

I don't know the specifics about San Francisco, but at the end of the day I'm guessing it was simply a corporate bottom-line decision that the stores where not generating enough profit and there are other stores nearby that would capture the market share. They're just using theft as a scapegoat. These were already pre-planned decisions, but so what?
     
     
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 5:47 PM
mhays mhays is offline
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
I guess you didn't read the article, or at least not the whole article?

Again, corporations dictate/like to dictate the narrative.
I did read that. The truth might still be that shoplifting was the trigger.
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2021, 5:49 PM
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Not saying that shoplifting doesn't happen, but for a corporation to claim that THAT'S THE ONLY REASON for closing a store or a bunch of stores, is bullshit, IMO.
Where did they say it's the only reason?
     
     
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