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Retailers have had enough

Retailers in California have been struggling to cope with the recent surge in criminal activity — which is seriously stinging their bottom lines.

As a result, some stores have resorted to securing certain items with padlocks and chains, or they’re locking up high-theft items behind plastic casings, while others are upping their security, resulting in a major inconvenience to honest shoppers and workers alike.

But for many retail giants, enough is enough. In recent months, there’s been a huge uptick in retailers shutting up shop and leaving theft-prone cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles for good — landing significant blows to the state’s economy.

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A $100 billion problem

The issues plaguing California aren’t isolated to the Golden State. According to a study from the National Retail Federation, organized retail crime and theft are growing in both scope and complexity across the U.S.

In fact, The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated in its annual security report that theft is costing the retail industry roughly $100 billion. The NRF described theft as a "persistent and growing threat."

Many cities have seen retail store closures in recent months — with rampant crime being just one of the major factors in this.

In addition to theft concerns, retailers across the U.S. are also struggling to regain the same levels of foot traffic that they enjoyed pre-pandemic — partly due to rising costs and the sustained popularity of remote work, which has reduced footfall in downtown shopping areas.

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About the Author

Bethan Moorcraft

Bethan Moorcraft


Bethan Moorcraft is a reporter for Moneywise with experience in news editing and business reporting across international markets.

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