NEW YORK - Rite Aid says shoplifting has gotten so bad in New York City that the company is considering putting everything into locked displays.
The company recently reported $5 million in additional losses in the past 3 months due to what is referred to as "shrink" in the retail industry. That's another word for stolen items.
Rite Aid CEO Heyward Donigan cited New York City's stores as the main source of the problem.
The company says that there is no insurance on shrink and it is a hit on the company's gross margin.
Chief Retail Officer Andre Persaud said, "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."
"We're looking at literally putting everything behind showcases to ensure the products there for customers who want to buy it," Persaud said.
He added that the company has had to go to the extent of using off-duty police officers in some stores. Prior reporting by FOX 5 News has shown private security guards watching as shoplifter leave stores with armloads of goods.
Two Rite Aid closures in Manhattan earlier this year came after well-publicized shoplifting incidents, including one recorded on a video by actor Michael Rapaport.
Shoplifting has grown in the past two years in New York City.
There were 32,358 retail theft complaints in 2020. That grew to 43,864 in 2021. The trend has continued into 2022.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has received much criticism for the problem due to his no-bail policies for what are considered non-violent crimes.
Earlier this year Bragg said that he planned to address the problem with a small business alliance task force made up of small business leaders from across the borough. That report was due in May. Shoplifting has not become less of a problem.