Businesses hiring security, reducing hours due to crime

Business

NEW YORK (NewsNation) — Across the nation, businesses are adapting to rising crime by increasing security staff, reducing their operating hours or closing down stores entirely.

Desperate times can sometimes provoke desperate actions, and retailers say theft is at an all-time high in their stores and it’s costing them millions of dollars in lost goods and millions more to add security. But it’s not just theft, other retailers say too many acts of violence are happening inside stores, making employees feel unsafe.

Last Tuesday, Starbucks announced it’s closing 16 stores across the country by the end of the month.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says the stores are profitable, but too many dangerous things are happening inside the stores, including heavy drug use by customers in bathrooms.

Schultz said employee safety concerns became too serious, and they had to take action

But it’s not just Starbucks, a growing number of businesses are changing the way they do business. Some restaurants are installing panic buttons, while grocery stores are hiring more security — with companies like Kroger saying thefts are hurting profits for the first time.

Violent crimes in restaurants and grocery stores have increased in recent years. According to FBI data, the number of aggravated assaults that happened in restaurants increased by 60% between 2018 and 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported. The data also showed that assaults in grocery stores increased by 73% during the same period.

Meanwhile, some retailers including CVS aren’t putting as many products on store shelves due to the recent rash of thefts. Last year, Walgreens closed a store in San Francisco due to a surge in organized retail crime.

Former FBI agent Jim Maxwell weighed in on NewsNation’s “Banfield,” saying that multiple factors can influence the recent crime but the economy and drug use are high on the list. He also blamed the Biden administration, calling out an influx of illegal border crossings.

“It’s a growing trend, and its unfortunate. It’s going to cost the consumer more money to buy things at stores because of the added security,” Maxwell said. “Unfortunately, in our major cities these days, the prosecutors have adopted a posture which allows recidivists to go back out into public and continue to commit crime.”

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