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Target Loses $400 Million in Profit, Points to Organized Theft

Now the retailer is implementing new measures to deter shoplifters.

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Target (Minneapolis) has lost $400 million in profit this year due to inventory shrink, a figure that could balloon to $600 million by the end of the fiscal year, the retailer said during its third quarter earnings call.

The company cited organized shoplifting as a significant driver of those losses. Target said it’s responding by making investments in staff training and implementing new anti-theft measures, though it didn’t elaborate on those initiatives.

“It’s obviously not something we like to do,” COO John Mulligan said. “It’s far less convenient for guests as they shop our stores, but we think we can manage that from a service perspective.”

Many other retailers are grappling with the same problem.

Rite Aid, for example, said it would consider “literally putting everything behind showcases” at its theft-plagued stores in New York City. Additionally, Kmart and other retailers have recently come under fire for their use of facial recognition technology.

According to the NRF, retailers sustained $94.5 billion in losses in 2021, up from $90.8 billion in 2020. Those who responded to a recent survey from the group reported a 26.5% increase in organized retail crime, on average.

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