Walgreens is closing five of its stores in San Francisco, citing widespread shoplifting.
Residents say the loss of pharmacies could harm the community.
The company has struggled with shoplifting for years and has closed 10 stores in the city since 2019.
Walgreens will close five more of its stores in San Francisco due to widespread shoplifting and “retail organized crime,” a Walgreens spokesperson told SFGate on Tuesday.
“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers in San Francisco, and we are not immune to it,” said Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso. “Retail theft from our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in recent months to reach five times our chain average.”
San Francisco’s Walgreens branches have struggled with shoplifting for years, and ten Walgreens branches have been closed in the city since 2019. Community members said a closure has left the elderly, residents with disabilities and low-income residents without a convenient local pharmacy to go to, the next closest location not being accessible to people with disabilities, according to a Change.org petition.
“During this period, to help combat this problem, we have increased our investment in security measures in city stores to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment,” Caruso said. .
Caruso also said patients’ prescriptions would be transferred to stores nearby.
In October 2020, a Walgreens store closed after it said it lost $ 1,000 in stolen merchandise every day.
“I am completely devastated by this news – this Walgreens is less than a mile from seven schools and has been a staple for the elderly, families and children for decades. This closure will have a significant impact on this community, “Ahsha Safaí, a member of the San Francisco Supervisory Board, wrote on Twitter of the upcoming closures.
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