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Target closes 9 stores in 4 cities due to spike in organized retail crime

Target closes nine stores due to retail crime
Target closes nine stores due to retail crime 01:53

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota-based company is taking drastic steps to keep employees away from danger.

Target says crime is so bad inside some stores, it's closing nine of them in four major U.S. cities.

Target's CEO addressed issues inside some store back in May in a conference call to executives.

"Theft and organized crime are increasingly urgent issues, impacting the team and our guest and other retailers," said Brian Cornell.

Target says it did all it could to prevent store closures; adding more security team members, using third-party guard services and locking cases for merchandise prone to theft.

When the company realized it could not improve business performance and the guest experience, executives made the decision to shut down locations.

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"If you look at the way they do business, the customer experience is critical to differentiate from other retailers that are in their space," said Dr. Mike Porter, University of St. Thomas' clinical professor of marketing.

Porter added that Target is trying to protect its brand.

"Part of the reason they are closing these stores it it's not cost effective to run those stores and keep the customer experience and prices consistent across the whole organization, "said Dr. Porter.

Organized retail theft is impacting lots of stores, but Target wants to protect shoppers by keeping prices down and making sure what they want is on store shelves.

"Prices are going to change they will always change, and Target is making the decision to try and minimize that by dealing with these particular locations, "Dr. Porter said.

One store is in New York City. Two are in Seattle. Three in San Francisco and three stores in Portland are set to close near the end of October.

Target employees impacted by store closures were given opportunities to transfer to other locations.

The Minnesota legislature passed the Organized Retail Crime Bill last session that cracks down on second-hand sales of stolen goods and the criminals who sell them.

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