Big-box retailer Target announced the closures of nine stores nationwide on Tuesday, and one of them is the Target at Folsom and 13th Streets, while two of the others are in the East Bay.
Condolences are in order for shoppers who rely on the Target at 1690 Folsom Street (at 13th Street), as the Chronicle reports the company announced they’re closing that South of Market location, with the final day being Saturday, October 21. Same goes for the Oakland Target store at 2650 Broadway (at 27th Street), and the Pittsburg Target at 4301 Century Boulevard in the Century Plaza Shopping Center, as the Chronicle adds that Target is closing nine stores nationwide.
“We have made the difficult decision to close nine Target stores across four states, effective Oct. 21.,” the company said in a Tuesday morning press release. “In this case, we cannot 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.”
Certainly Target has been affected by crime in the Bay Area; the Metreon Target store somehow had half of all reported SF shoplifting incidents in September 2021, and just months before that, all SF Target stores moved their closing time up to 6 p.m. over crime concerns. The Chron rightfully points out that a viral TikTok video showing lots of merchandise locked up was filmed at that Folsom Street Target.
An Associated Press report (which incorrectly says three SF Target stores are closing, though we know that narrative plays well) otherwise correctly notes that the Folsom Street Target is “under a busy overpass with homeless tents in a largely commercial neighborhood with auto shops.” So maybe not the best location out of Target’s 1,900 stores nationwide.
But CNBC did a deep-dive into big-box retailers’ alleged shoplifting woes last month, and found that retail theft is more than just shoplifting. Namely, employee theft and self-checkout theft are larger issues than many retailers are acknowledging. CNBC says that in terms of self-checkout machines, “The machines come with increased costs. In some stores with high rates of theft, losses are outweighing the investments companies made in them.” (The Folsom Street Target has self-checkout machines.)
Another CNBC report notes that gift card theft and return fraud also contribute substantially to the theft losses that retailers call “shrink.” Meanwhile just today, a separate CNBC report says that the National Federation of Retailers say that theft is at the same level it’s been the last three years, and is not increasing substantially. Sure, it may be increasing at Target, but shoplifting might not be the only cause for these closures.
With the closure of the Folsom Street store, SF will have three remaining Target locations, and 32 in the Bay Area overall.
Image: Google Street View