Target, other retailers reporting big jump in retail theft ahead of holiday shopping season

ByAmy Powell and ABC7.com staff via KABC logo
Friday, November 18, 2022
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Ahead of the holiday shopping season, Target and other major retailers are seeing big jumps in thefts this year, costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Ahead of the holiday shopping season, Target and other major retailers are seeing big jumps in thefts this year, costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Target reported on a recent earnings call that it had lost $400 million more in gross profit this year - so far - to retail theft, in comparison to last year. And the figure will likely hit more than $600 million for the full year.

Similarly, retailer Rite-Aid reported a $5 million jump in loss due to "shrink" - mostly theft.

The state of California, acknowledging the new disturbing trend, recently announced a new series of measures to combat retail crime ahead of the holiday season.

At one Target store in West Hollywood, items such as detergent, toothpaste and eye drops were in locked glass cases to deter theft.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's office says there will be more CHP patrols around major shopping areas. The agency's Organized Retail Crime Task Force was expanded under recent legislation signed by the governor.

Other new state efforts seek to make it harder to sell stolen goods online and provide more funds to local agencies, such as district attorney officers, to prosecute retail crime.