Target CEO Brian Cornell made this projection during the company's earnings call for the first quarter of the year, which happened on May 17. Filings disclosed that Target's inventory loss amounted to a total of $763 million in the last fiscal year. With the projected $500 million increase, the big-box retailer would see losses go beyond the $1 billion mark.
According to Cornell, Target is not the only establishment grappling with a rise in retail theft. He described retail theft as "a worsening trend that emerged last year" and also disclosed that violent incidents have increased at Target's stores.
"The problem affects all of us, limiting product availability, creating a less convenient shopping experience, and putting our team and guests in harm’s way," Cornell said on the call.
The Target CEO has stressed that more theft is driving the big-box retailer's inventory losses. Thus, some stores are now installing protective fixtures and adjusting assortment in some stores to reduce theft. The company is also working with politicians, law enforcement and retail industry trade groups to come up with policy solutions.
"Target has become more vocal about organized retail theft as it has struggled with excess inventory and its margins have disappointed," CNBC reported. "Unwanted merchandise sat around in its stores and warehouses, before the company took aggressive action to cancel orders and mark items down."
Despite this grim projection, Cornell said Target "is focused on keeping our stores open in the markets where problems are occurring." The big-box retailer has roughly 1,900 stores across the country, mainly located in suburban areas and major cities such as New York City and San Francisco.
In one clear example of what Cornell mentioned as "protective fixtures," a Target store in San Francisco has taken to locking products behind security glass.
The Daily Mail reported on this development in April, citing a video posted on TikTok that month. The video's caption read: "This is what my Target in [San Francisco] looks like now." According to the outlet, the footage was recorded at the big-box retailer's location on San Francisco's Folsom Street.
The clip featured an aisle of personal care products all stored behind security glass, which is believed to extend throughout the entire store. However, the measure seems to have been in place for some time. Based on geotagged images, some of the products at the Folsom Street location have been locked away from customers since at least October 2022. (Related: San Fran Target store locks products behind glass security cabinets.)
"Like other retailers, organized retail crime is a concern across our business," a Target spokesperson said in response to requests for comment on the matter sent by the Mail. "We're taking proactive measures to keep our teams and guests safe while deterring and preventing theft."
The spokesperson outlined these measures include hiring additional security guards; adding third-party guard services at select locations; and using new technologies and tools to protect merchandise from being stolen.
"We are working with legislators, law enforcement and retail industry partners to support public policy that would help achieve our goals of creating a safe environment in our stores and keeping our doors open in communities across the country."
Head over to Collapse.news for more stories about retail thefts affecting Target and other companies.
Watch InfoWars host Owen Shroyer discuss organized retail crime in New York City below.
This video is from the InfoWars channel on Brighteon.com.