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Walgreens closes five more stores in San Francisco due to thefts

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Walgreens said it will close five more stores in San Francisco next month due to an organized retail theft, another blow to a city that has gained an embarrassing reputation for widespread shoplifting.

Stores will close next month, SFGATE reported. He said Walgreens had closed at least 10 stores in the city since 2019. “Retail theft from our San Francisco stores has continued to increase over the past few months to reach five times our chain average.” sharp increases in safety, Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso said. .

San Francisco supervisor Ahsha Safai said he was devastated by the loss of a Mission Street store that “has been a staple for seniors, families and children for decades.”

“It’s a sad day for San Francisco,” Safai told SFGATE. “We cannot continue to let these anchor institutions shut down that so many people rely on.”

Customers with prescriptions at these locations will have their files moved to a nearby Walgreens location, SFGATE reported.

Last year, Walgreens closed a store in the city where the chain said it was losing $ 1,000 a day to thefts.

Frustration and fear of theft was fueled by widely broadcast and filmed shoplifting footage. This summer, masked shoplifters carrying armfuls of designer handbags sprinted from a downtown Neiman Marcus department store and into getaway cars.

In June, a masked man was filmed in a Walgreens, putting items in a trash bag before exiting the store on his bike. A suspect was arrested in this theft.

Last month, the Mayor of London Breed and Police Chief Bill Scott announced they would assign more police officers to shopping districts, strengthen coordination and make it easier to report shoplifters.

“Don’t take our kindness for weakness”

“We care about criminal justice reform. We care about second chances. We care about making sure people are not wrongly accused,” Breed said of announcing the new measures. “But don’t take our kindness for weakness, our compassion for weakness.”

Latest round of Walgreens store robberies come as company just raised salaries for thousands of its employees at $ 15 an hour.

About half of Walgreens’ 190,000 employees are already making at least $ 15 an hour and will not see their wages increase. The remaining half will see their wages increase, the company said. The increase to $ 15 an hour, which applies to full-time and part-time workers, will be fully implemented by November 2022.

The wage hike will cost Walgreens, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain behind CVS, around $ 450 million over the next three years. Walgreens said in a statement that it plans to absorb the additional costs “in the ordinary course of business.”

The Walgreens Boots Alliance share price fell less than 1% on Wednesday morning, to around $ 47 per share.

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