Target revealed during a Wednesday earnings call that “organized retail crime is responsible for a $400 million reduction in gross profit this year compared to 2021.” Target’s Chief Financial Officer Michael Fiddelke stressed the company’s profit loss has only worsened within the last 12 to 18 months, as crime skyrockets across the country. Though this phenomenon is nowhere near exclusive to just Target as the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported in September that fraud is rising in most retailers through in-store, e-commerce, and on omni-channel. The NRF has also said that the challenges with labor shortages, employee retention and hiring, and COVID-related precautions have contributed to the violence and hostility stores have seen through retail crime.
This revelation comes only a week before the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. As the holiday has seen a slowdown due to COVID, the NRF is expecting a popularity boost in the holiday this year. It is expected that the weekend, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, will see an increase in potential shoppers from the last three years, from 165.3M in 2019, 156.6M in 2020, and 158.3M in 2021 to 166.3M this year. Boosting expectant shopper numbers by at least 1 million. Though on Black Friday alone it is excepted for stores to have a total of 114.9M potential shoppers.
This leaves stores on high alert as crime continues to spike at this crucial time. As traditionally Black Friday sales can get violent and crazy, leaving room for increased crime and an opening for theft.