Target will close nine stores in major cities across the US following a swathe of violence, theft and organised retail crime.
The company, which has nearly 2000 stores in the US, has previously spoken about the risk of organised crime within its outlets.
One store in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, two locations in Seattle, three stores in the San Francisco-Oakland area and three more in Portland, Oregon will close its doors on October 21.
A company spokesperson said: “We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organised retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance.
“We know that our stores serve an important role in their communities, but we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all.”
Discussing the impact of the thefts, Target says they have caused higher levels of shrink - an industry term used to describe losses from goods that were damaged, misplaced or stolen.
As a result of the increasing number of crimes, Target has also vowed to shutter stores.
It follows the company’s fiscal second-quarter earnings released in mid-May which stated shrink is expected to reduce Target’s full-year profitability by more than $500 million compared to the year-ago period.
CEO Brian Cornell said he does not want to close stores, but will be “closely monitoring the safety of our team and guests”.
He said: “We do not want to close stores. We know how important our stores are. They create local jobs, they generate taxes, they’re very important for those local shoppers, and they play a critical role in communities across the country.
“We’ll continue to do everything in our power to keep our doors open.
“At the same time, we’ll be closely monitoring the safety of our team and guests as well as the financial impact to our business as we determine the right path forward at Target.”
Target, alongside other companies, have advocated for legislative reform.
It follows the passage of the Inform Act, which means online marketplaces must reveal the identities of certain high-volume sellers to deter the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods.
Many are now pushing for the passage of another bill - the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act.
The bill calls for tougher penalties for theft offences and a change in the threshold prosecutors must meet before bringing federal theft cases.
At least nine states have passed similar laws to impose harsher penalties since 2022