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San Francisco retail theft data questions validity of Walgreens closures

KCBS News Radio
KCBS News Radio
 2021-10-16
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A pedestrian walks by a Walgreens store on April 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Photo credit Getty Images

Data released by the San Francisco Police Department, collected by the San Francisco Chronicle, has caused officials to question Walgreens’ explanation for closing five stores in the Bay Area.

Walgreens announced on Tuesday that the company will be closing five stores in the Bay Area due to rampant retail theft. However, police data shows that one of the stores set to close has only reported seven shoplifting incidents in 2021.

The five stores also have fewer than two recorded shoplifting incidents per month on average since 2018, a stark contrast from the picture painted by the pharmacy chain.

People are now wondering if Walgreens was using the narrative of retail theft to hide other potential factors in its decision to close 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 — S.F. has a lot of Walgreens locations all over the city — so I do think that there are other factors that come into play," Mayor London Breed said last week, the paper reported.

The pharmacy giant also expanded its store closure program this week, announcing that they are planning to close 150 stores and increase their annual savings target to $3.3 billion. The timing of the retail theft announcement paired with this announcement has left some wary.

Bay Area residents are now taking to Twitter to express their opinions on the matter, creating a massive debate regarding retail theft and the truth of the Walgreens closures.

Comments / 16

ch
10-16

It is a private business's decision...they do not have to justify it. SF does not have a right to force a business to stay.

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9
Mal Mcdonald
10-16

Theft even once a month we urge most thinking people to close. If caught they are let go,not put in jail where they belong.

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8
jabber wolf
10-16

I live in SF and the DA allows this. He should be tarred and feathered. Walgreens has every right and reason to leave.

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8

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