Wednesday, October 13, 2021

REPORT: 'Organized Retail Crime' Convinces Walgreens Owners to Close 5 Stores

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. will close Nov. 11. Jesse Panda C. / Yelp

Source: SF Gate

Published: October 12, 2021

By: Tessa McLean

Walgreens will close five more San Francisco stores, a company spokesperson confirmed Tuesday, citing ongoing organized retail crime as the reason. 

The closures are as follows:

  • 2550 Ocean Ave. will close on Nov. 8 and will transfer prescription files to 1630 Ocean Ave.
  • 4645 Mission St. will close on Nov. 11 and will transfer prescription files to 965 Geneva St.
  • 745 Clement St. will close on Nov. 15 and will transfer prescription files to 3601 California St.
  • 300 Gough St. will close on Nov. 15 and will transfer prescriptions to 2145 Market St.
  • 3400 Cesar Chavez St. will close on Nov. 17 and will transfer prescriptions to 2690 Mission St.

“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” said Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”

The drugstore chain hopes to relocate employees from closing stores to other nearby locations.

San Francisco Board of Supervisor Ahsha Safai of District 11 said he was “devastated” by the loss of the store on Mission Street on Twitter, writing “I am completely devastated by this news - this Walgreens is less than a mile from seven schools and has been a staple for seniors, families and children for decades. This closure will significantly impact this community.”

Safai told SFGATE that though the store on Mission Street had added an off-duty police officer as store security in recent months, it was "too little, too late for this store." He said he has been in touch with Walgreens and that the shoplifting was having an impact on the company's bottom line, as well as impacting the safety of its employees and customers. "This is a sad day for San Francisco," Safai said. "We can't continue to let these anchor institutions close that so many people rely on."

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