Categories
Audio Sources - Full Text Articles

Viral TikTok shows a Target San Francisco store going to extreme measures to deter shoplifters, with an entire aisle locked up

Items locked away.Health and beauty items such as these on display at a store in New York are a top target for retail thieves.

OCG/Getty Images

  • A TikTok video showing an aisle of items including toothpaste and razors under lock and key has gone viral.
  • News outlets cited it as further evidence of “a shoplifting crisis that has crippled retailers” in San Francisco.
  • A recent study found low-cost items in the health and beauty section are a top target for retail thieves.

A TikTok video has gone viral showing the health and beauty aisle of a Target in San Francisco almost fully encased in glass, as a countermeasure to prevent shoplifting.

The locked display cases run the length of the aisle on both sides, with doors extending from the bottom shelves to the top. Merchandise on an end cap is also locked up, and the cases appear to continue along part of the back wall of the store.

The video, posted last week with an overlay that reads, “This is what my Target in SF looks like now,” shows items including toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, and razors under lock and key.

@srdreamtorch Target runs just dont hit different out here anymore😕 #fyp #foryou #parati #shoplift #sf #bayarea ♬ just a girl – speed sounds

The Tiktok video has amassed over 1.5 million views and was quickly picked up by outlets including Fox News and the New York Post as further evidence of “a shoplifting crisis that has crippled retailers” in the city. Several outlets identified the location to be at the corner of Folsom and 13th Streets.

A North Carolina CBS affiliate says online images indicate that the lockers have been in place at least since October of 2022, and a Yelp review from April of last year includes a photo of the locked cases.

The new TikTok video only shows one aisle and the rear of the store, and a Target spokesperson told Fox News that other aisles were not so heavily protected.

“We’re taking proactive measures to keep our teams and guests safe while deterring and preventing theft,” a Target spokesperson said in a statement to Insider. “These mitigation efforts include hiring additional security guards, adding third-party guard services at select locations, and using new technologies and tools to protect merchandise from being stolen.”

“We are working with legislators, law enforcement, and retail industry partners to support public policy that would help achieve our goals of creating a safe environment in our stores and keeping our doors open in communities across the country,” the spokesperson added.

A 2022 study by the National Retail Federation, an industry lobbying group, indicated that San Francisco ranked second after Los Angeles for the US metros facing high levels of organized retail crime, and earlier in April, Whole Foods announced it would close a location in San Francisco due to concerns over worker safety.

Although the image of dental floss under lock and key might strike some shoppers as strange, another study from the NRF found that low-cost items in the health and beauty section are a top target for retail thieves.

“Most shoplifting is going to be the lower-value items,” Jake Stauch, the director of product for the security company Verkada, previously told Insider. “It’s not going to be a $10,000 jewelry heist. It’s going to be these things that just kind of go missing off the shelves, and so that’s harder to detect.”

Retailers from Target to Walmart for months have been raising alarms on theft, an issue that has ballooned into a $94.5 billion problem for the retail industry, according to a prior 2022 study conducted by the NRF.

But other retailers are walking back their past messaging around theft. Walgreens CFO James Kehoe said in January the company “cried too much” about theft the year prior, saying it hadn’t seen as much shrinkage in recent months.

Kehoe said during the company’s quarterly earnings call in January that Walgreens saw “lower levels of shrink” in inventory in the second half of 2022. At the start of 2022, the company said that its inventory shrink rate, or the loss of inventory attributed to theft, fraud, and damage, was over 3%. Kehoe said the shrink rate had fallen to roughly 2.5% this year.

Do you shop at the Target store above and want to share your thoughts? Contact reporters Ben and Dominick at btobin@insider.com and dreuter@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider
WP Radio
WP Radio
OFFLINE LIVE