Target closing Ballard and U District stores citing safety and theft issues
Target stores announced today that they will be closing two Seattle area stores. The Ballard store at 1448 NW Market St, Ste 100 and the U District store at 4535 University Way NE will close on Oct.21. 9 stores across the nation will close in total.22 stores in the Seattle area will remain open.
In a statement Target said, "we cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance."
Their complete statement:
At Target, we take the decision to close stores very seriously, and only do so after taking meaningful steps to invest in the guest experience and improve business performance. With that said, we have made the difficult decision to close nine Target stores across four states, effective Oct. 21.
In this case, we cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized 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.
Before making this decision, we invested heavily in strategies to prevent and stop theft and organized retail crime in our stores, such as adding more security team members, using third-party guard services, and implementing theft-deterrent tools across our business. Despite our efforts, unfortunately, we continue to face fundamental challenges to operating these stores safely and successfully.
The team members at these stores have worked hard to maintain our high standards by creating a positive working and shopping experience for each other, our guests and their communities. We are extremely thankful for their efforts and will be partnering closely with all eligible team members to offer them an opportunity to transfer to other Target locations.
Looking ahead, we remain committed to serving these guests with more than 150 locations open in markets where the closures are taking place and an always-open experience at Target.com.
Our Efforts to Combat Theft and Organized Retail Crime
We will continue to combat theft and organized retail crime by making significant investments to keep our stores safe. These efforts include:
In our stores:
- Payroll investments in additional security team members, using third-party guard services, and implementing theft-deterrent tools across our business.
- On a limited basis, implementing tools such as locking cases for merchandise categories that are prone to theft.
- Investing time and resources in training our store leaders and security team members so they can protect themselves and de-escalate potential safety issues associated with organized retail crime incidents.
- Making significant investments in cyber defense to combat retail theft, fraud and abuse.
- Partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division to combat retail theft.
- Applying our cyber capabilities to combat organized retail crime through a combination of:
- Advanced threat intelligence capabilities to track organized crime groups, tools and services.
- Developing custom tools that prevent and detect criminal activity and integrating them into online and in-store processes.
- Expanding the scope of data alerts and analysis to better capture fraudulent activity from organized crime groups.
While we will continue to make meaningful investments throughout our business, we cannot solve this issue on our own. In addition, we are taking a whole of community, government, and industry approach to seek solutions. This includes:
In our communities:
- Our Outreach Coordinator team connects guests experiencing hardship to community resources. Since launching in 2021, our Outreach Coordinator Program has engaged in over 5,700 meaningful guest interactions across 11 markets, delivered nearly 100 trainings, and hosted or partnered on more than 135 events.
In coordination with government officials, lawmakers and law enforcement:
- Supporting the recent passage of the INFORM Consumers Act, which gives marketplaces a larger role in combatting the second-hand sale of stolen goods.
- Advocating for the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act in Congress, which creates a taskforce of federal agencies to crack down on theft and organized retail crime.
- Creating Organized Retail Crime Task Forces at the state and local level to promote inter-agency efforts and cooperation.
- Hosting store walks with Members of Congress, state legislators, city officials, district attorneys, law enforcement, and local community partners to educate on our efforts to combat retail theft and organized retail crime, and advocate for solutions and cooperation.
In coordination with industry partners:
- Participating in National Store Walk Month, a new initiative in partnership with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) that seeks to address the urgent issues of organized retail crime and theft and its impact on our communities.
- Partnering with our national and local retail industry associations such as RILA and the National Retail Federation to fund advocacy and educational efforts like the Vibrant Communities initiative.