In the summer of 2020, the country was plagued by rampant rioting excused by Democrat-Left political circles. Joe Biden himself indulged in the “defund the police” narrative, while Kamala Harris encouraged her supporters to donate to a radical bail fund for criminals. Naturally, this led to horrific, destructive pro-criminal policies being enacted, all in the name of “progress” and “equity.” So-called “experts” even warned against accurately describing the exploding criminal activity across the country. Our society still faces the consequences of these misguided policies years later.
CVS is closing 10% of its stores because of theft!
I’ll tell you as a retailer in NYC—it’s not people stealing bread because they’re hungry. These are coordinated and organized criminals wreaking havoc.
Helps internet companies hurts retail businesses. https://t.co/hi2YiMpniB
— John Catsimatidis Jr (@johncatsjr) September 26, 2023
One particularly absurd justification for this lawlessness was the idea that businesses were not really being harmed since they had insurance. This is a dangerous ignorance that fueled even more crime and resulted in immense harm and even loss of life. Small businesses were hit hardest, unable to weather crime sprees that devastated their livelihoods. Blathering about insurance does not help a family-owned store teetering on the brink. It does not restore neighborhood safety or provide jobs for displaced employees. It does not furnish local senior citizens with convenient options to pick up necessary medication. These are real costs for real people that insurance cannot hope to cover. As a result, major cities across the country, which operate under one-party rule, are circling the drain.
Even large corporations are unable to withstand these pressures, leading to an exodus of businesses from decaying urban centers and the shuttering of franchises by enormous companies. CVS is just one example of this trend, set to close hundreds of stores across the country as it undergoes a complete retail overhaul. Their policy launched in 2021 will see 300 stores closed each year, with 900 having already shuttered by 2024. This “retail footprint strategy” is as much about rampant shoplifting as it is about shifting to online sales. Thousands of stores across the country have locked up basic products like toothpaste and deodorant due to the staggering increase in theft. Shoplifters are caught only 2% of the time, with an arrest made for only one out of every 100 incidents.
Rival pharmacies like Rite Aid and Walgreens are making similar moves to close their doors, with Rite Aid announcing the closure of two stores earlier this month, following the closure of 25 stores earlier this year as the company prepares to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is not just about rampant crime, however, as other pressures are in the mix. But consequence-free lawlessness is contributing a great deal to the closing of these brick and mortar stores. Companies cannot make a profit and cannot keep employees safe.
TARGET STORE CLOSURES: Target announced it is closing nine stores in four U.S. states because of mounting thefts and organized retail crime threatening the safety of its workers and shoppers. pic.twitter.com/lmaIgJglvy
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) September 26, 2023
Target is another major retailer feeling the pain of theft and organized retail crime. Adding to the negative impact from boycotts resulting from wading into certain controversial cultural issues, Target is closing nine stores in four states, including one in East Harlem, New York and three in the San Francisco Bay Area. The decision will be effective Oct. 21, and also includes three stores in Portland, Oregon, and two in Seattle. In a statement, Target described the decision as difficult, saying, “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.”
It is not just retail giants like CVS and Target feeling the strain. Small businesses across the country are closing their doors, unable to cope with crime and the compounding pressures of misguided policies. “They have insurance” is no longer an acceptable excuse for the destruction of livelihoods and communities. Our leaders must act to restore law and order, or watch as our cities collapse under the weight of their own failed policies.