Walgreens closes five more San Francisco stores, citing "organized retail crime"


Pff, fuckin’ amateurs. You can’t even buy a stick of gum in most NYC neighborhoods without a double-layer revolving plexiglass box. And if you don’t know what beers they have, good luck guessing, ‘cause that guy isn’t going back to the cooler twice!


Weird that Walgreens seems to be the only company being negatively affected by this. It’s almost like it’s a pretense for pulling up stakes in less-than-mega-profitable areas and blaming the people who live there for making them do it.


They were not merry men.


You are making a bad assumption that they own all the buildings they operating. Especially in dense urban areas they are likely leasing buildings they are operating out of. Which kinda makes me want to hunt through their SEC fillings to see if I can figure out the ratio of ownership & leasing.


Corporate propaganda designed to get us to pay for their security. They could hire a guard for way less than $1,000 day. You will never hear them admit they’re closing because of bad management or anything that isn’t “our fault”.


The number of Walgreens locations alone in downtown SF is pretty high. There are several that are only one or two blocks away from each other. Depending on which ones they close the community many not feel it too much. Although for the one on Mission Street that’s described in the article that may be more of a issue, depending on which specific Mission Street location is closing. (There are multiple Mission Street locations, with the most isolated one being 4 blocks from the nearest other Walgreens)


This is not a situation where an impoverished mother is stealing formula to feed her child, or someone is stealing bread to feed their family.

Impoverished people are involved, but as pawns for organized crime rings that then re-sell the stolen items. The concern shouldn’t be with harshly punishing these people, but with investigating and breaking up the people higher up on the food chain




The crime ring involved in the story you linked to was busted over a year ago now. And it doesn’t explain why Walgreens is closing these stores and competitors like CVS are not. Not sure I’m ready to take Walgreens’ explanation at face value, it could well just be an excuse for poor management.


Why should we take any corporations explanation for the dumb shit they do at face value?

Seems more likely - or over saturation of the local market - or they treat their customers like shit. Etc.


Exactly; even with the recently announced closures there will still be at least 53 Walgreens stores in a city that’s less than 50 square miles, including several that are within a block of each other. It’s not exactly like they’re writing off San Francisco entirely.


That’s one walgreen for every square mile… and of course, there are other options for pharmacies, too.


Hell, I’ve been to fast food restaurants in rough neighborhoods that work this way.


It strikes me that “organized retail crime” could well be a root cause, but not necessarily in the way Walgreens wants us to understand it.


I am a little surprised by the closure of the one on 3400 Cesar Chavez, which is at a prime location, corner of Mission and Cesar Chavez, both of which are thoroughfares. I seem to remember it took a while for this branch to open. This store also has parking, almost unheard of in the area, and is one of the larger Walgreens around, but I can also see that there is another Walgreens not that far away on Mission (next to Safeway).

Personally, I think Walgreens’ strategy of saturating the area with stores from years back is no longer sustainable, and the organized retail theft is just one of the factors in the closure. It is fighting Dollar stores, the rise of delivery services like Amazon Fresh, meal kits, Good Eggs and similar grocery delivery services, and supermarket delivery services like instaCart, not to mention other chains like CVS.

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San Francisco guards are NOT allowed to lay hands on shoplifters.

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If you’re not getting your chopped cheese this way, it’s not chopped cheese. :wink:


q3 2020 Form 10-Q

Many of their stores look to be leased.

If a store isn’t profitable after paying rent, inventory , and (ahem) wages the store will eventually be closed.

Interestingly, they claim 75 million in Store damaage and Inventory losses.


Most retail businesses have an accounting line for “shrinkage” that includes shoplifting, theft by employees, misplacement, whatever. You just build it into your business plan. It is strange that a megacorporation like Walgreens decided to try to add some kind of ethical component to this, let alone blame it on something probably mythical like organized shoplifting. I’m surprised they didn’t mention Fagin in there somewhere.

The real issue that Walgreens et al have is that it is increasingly hard for them to compete, not only with megastores like Costco and Walmart that now sell drugs and other medical supplies, but also with online sources. We all want the convenience of being able to go down to the corner to fill a prescription or buy some aspirin, but when things aren’t urgent Wags is not where we go to buy our stuff. It is interesting that there are still as many pharmacies per square mile as there are in big cities.