Target Announces Store Closures

The retail giant Target announced this week that it was closing a number of store locations across the country. The decision comes not only after a significant increase in shoplifting at its locations and other retailers nationwide but also after a consumer backlash over controversial store products.

Among the nine stores the company is closing, Target will be shuttering locations in high-theft cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, Portland and Seattle.

In their announcement, the company specifically wrote that it could not “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,” a Target company statement read.

The nine stores in question will close on Oct. 21. The decision follows a significant rise in general retail theft, including at Target. Overall, such theft totaled more than $112 billion from the nation’s retailers.

The decision to leave these particular cities also follows the closure of a number of retail locations, including Walmart’s decision to leave Portland. A number of other major outlets, including Nordstrom, have recently closed in San Francisco.

Target received considerable criticism earlier this year over a number of items sold under its “Pride Collection.” These included a number of products produced by the U.K.-based company Abprallen which had occult and Satanist themes.

Following the unveiling of the items, Target saw a significant reduction in retail sales. Abprallen’s designer Erik Carnell was one of the major focuses in the boycott, especially after he stated that he was a Satanist himself.

After the store pulled a number of Apbrallen goods, Carnell said that the decision was a “very dangerous precedent to set, that if people just get riled up enough about the products that you’re selling, you can completely distance yourself from the LGBT community, when and if it’s convenient.”