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Rampant Shoplifting Prompts Retailers to Open New Stores Without Blind Spots

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Rampant Shoplifting Prompts Retailers to Open New Stores Without Blind Spots

Tri State Commercial Realty is featured in The Messenger Business article Rampant Shoplifting Prompts Retailers to Open New Stores Without Blind Spots

Landlords use facial recognition cameras, surveillance towers and open floor plans to lure tenants and deter thieves

In New York City’s Harlem, Target has shuttered a store that was once hailed as a breakthrough for the neighborhood lacking in national retailers. The closing is one of nine across the country for chain, which cites shoplifting and violence as the reasons.

Retail chains like Target have made headlines as they close shop due to profit losses and employee threats at the hands of organized theft rings. Most of those closures are in densely populated, urban areas, where retailers have historically felt the need to have a presence and paid high rents for prime real estate. 

Retailers are now seeking solutions to the crime problem by being more mindful about new store floor plans, along with technology and security capabilities. 

Just a 30-minute walk away from its closed store in Harlem, Target is opening a store in the new, expansive $242 million development, the Urban League Empowerment Center, indicating the promise of the store being free of the store blind spots that help aid shoplifters. 

“They’re now having to think like law enforcement,” said Craig Timm, an organized retail crime specialist with the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists. That new wave of thinking is prompting plans for further expansion.

Despite Target’s closures, the store is on track to open 20 new locations this year, ranging in size from 20,000 to 137,000 square feet, according to a call with investors. That’s on par with its real estate footprint growth that started early into the pandemic. 

The National Retail Federation estimates that retail crime accounted for $112.1 billion in losses last year, up from $93.9 billion in 2021. In impacted locations, retailers have to determine whether those merchandise losses outweigh the profit the store typically earns. In many closed stores, the company continues to pay rent on the location, unless they are able to sublease the space or exit the lease.

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