Many retailers eyed closing brick-and-mortar stores as online purchases grew but then lockdowns, looters and thieves forced the decision.
For example, the national pharmacy retail chain CVS announced Nov. 18 it would close 300 stores per year for three years beginning 2022.
“The company has been evaluating changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs to ensure it has the right kinds of stores in the right locations for consumers and for the business,” said spokesman T.J. Crawford. Left unsaid was whether looting, lockdowns and flash mobs of shoplifters skewed the consumer buying patterns that prompted store closures.
Closing 900 locations would catapult Walgreens ahead of CVS as the drugstore with the greatest number of retail locations, according to a Forbes report.
Walgreens has not announced widespread store closures but they informed San Francisco officials they would be closing five stores in that city because of rampant crime.
“Due to ongoing organized retail crime, we have made the difficult decision to close five stores across San Francisco,” a Walgreens spokesperson told FOX Business at the time.
“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” the spokesperson continued. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. 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.”
Nevertheless, the drugstore chain closed its stores in the area.
Lockdowns by state and city governments in stated attempts to curb the spread of coronavirus have put a boot to the backs of thousands of retail employees whose stores become so unprofitable during lockdowns, they can no longer afford to remain open.
Macy’s announced last year that it planned to close 125 stores, along with its Cincinnati headquarters, according to a 2020 CNBC report.
Last year’s lockdowns were cited as the straw that broke the camel’s back, forcing retail giants JCPenney and Neiman Marcus to file for relief in bankruptcy court.
According to a Daily Wire report, last month White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki blamed former President Donald Trump for the increased lawlessness, saying President Joe Biden has proposed more funding for local police than Trump did.
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