It's not a good month for Target after announcing it will be closing nine of its retail locations. The closures are slated to occur before the end of 2023.

Target is one of New Jersey's favorite retailers, so news of stores closing comes as a bit of a surprise. More often than not, most locations are usually packed with customers eager to save money on their everyday purchases.

But unlike most retailers, Target isn't shuttering these locations over performance issues. The reason behind the closures is much more concerning than that.

The driving factor in shuttering specific locations has to do with safety. The nine stores targeted for closure have been battling theft and violence to a point where the environment has become unsafe for shoppers and employees.

Target sign in Brick
Target sign in Brick (Google Street View/Canva)

According to a Target news release reported by CNBC, the company "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."

They also acknowledge that their "stores serve an important role in their communities, but we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all.” It's unfortunate for the affected communities and locations.

A majority of the stores shuttering are along the West Coast of the U.S., including two in Washington, three in Oregon, and three in California. At the present time, only one store affected indirectly affects New Jerseyans.

Target in Jersey City (Google Maps)
Target (Google Maps)

That is their Harlem store in New York City. So for those in New Jersey who work around that location across the river, this closure directly affects you.

Although no locations in New Jersey are slated to close specifically for crime and violence at the moment, there is another issue affecting Target stores here in The Garden State. And that problem is related to theft.

Shrink, which is the total monetary value a store loses from its profit due to theft, is still an issue across the country, including here in New Jersey. Unfortunately, shrink is a problem that goes well beyond just Target.

Theft / Stealing merchandise

Although shrink is typically seen as one of the reasons a store might close, Target doesn't consider it a primary factor hitting its bottom line. According to CNBC, "Target’s business has struggled for more than a year with company-specific challenges" that range from "unsold inventory" to "backlash to its Pride merchandise collection."

And those other broad factors do play into the performance of all stores, including those in New Jersey. But again, New Jersey-specific stores so far have avoided the chopping block due to theft, violence, or any of the performance issues mentioned above.

The nine stores, including Harlem, the one that most affects New Jerseyans for now, are slated to close on October 21, 2023, and will join the list below of places that once existed in and around The Garden State.

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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