Rite Aid is contemplating placing all merchandise in showcases in New York City in an effort to curb retail theft, according to Fox 5 New York.
In late September, executives at Rite Aid cited “shrink,” a term that retailers use to describe theft, as an issue the pharmacy chain is dealing with during the company’s quarterly earnings call.
CEO Heyward Donigan said Rite Aid experienced “unexpected headwinds” from shrink, “particularly in our New York urban stores.”
Company Chief Retail Officer Andre Persaud said the “headline here is the environment that we operate in, particularly in New York City, is not conducive to reducing shrink just based upon everything you read and see on social media and the news in the city.”
RITE AID EXEC: IMPOSSIBLE TO STOP NYC STORE THEFTS
Rite Aid posted a $331.3 million net loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2022, up from $100.3 million a year prior. Matt Schroeder, Rite Aid’s CFO, said during the earnings call that Rite Aid’s front-end gross profit was “impacted by a $5 million increase in shrink.”
During the earnings call, Persaud noted that Rite Aid has made progress on “improving our product protection, improving our organized retail client program” and stated the drug store chain’s goal is to “stay in the communities.”
“We’re looking at literally putting everything behind showcases to ensure the product’s there for customers who want to buy it,” he said.
Other actions Rite Aid has considered include operating a “pharmacy only and as a pharmacy prescription-only format in some of the communities,” he said. The company has also placed off-duty police officers in some stores.
FOX Business reached out to Rite Aid for comment on the matter.
Rite Aid closed locations in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen and Upper East Side neighborhoods earlier in the year.
NYC RITE AID TARGETED BY SHOPLIFTERS CLOSES, WITH ANOTHER SET TO CLOSE SOON AFTER
A New York Post reporter spotted an instance of alleged shoplifting in January at the Hell’s Kitchen location, where “store sources” told the outlet people have stolen over $200,000 in items over a couple of months.
Actor and comedian Michael Rapaport said he was at the Upper East Side store in January when he watched someone load a pair of bags full of allegedly stolen items. Video captured by Rapaport showed the alleged thief passing a store security guard as he left holding the bags.
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The stores were closing “for a number of reasons” based on months-long reviews that were carried out “across the full footprint of 2,500 stores,” a Rite Aid spokesperson previously told FOX Business. Rite Aid’s store closing plan meant the shuttering of over 60 locations across the country.
FOX Business’ Ken Martin and Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.
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