Crime has become so rampant that many retailers have chosen to lock up nearly all of the products in their stores behind plexiglass. I recently stated in a post, “Retailers that lock up their products lock out their customers. Far too many stores have become plexiglass prisons.” Plexiglass isn’t the answer. Closing stores is.
Several corporations deserve to be recognized for making decisions based on facts while ignoring pressure from local governments, political organizations, and social organizations. Many retailers have come to the conclusion that they’re no longer going to be held responsible, some would say held hostage, for solving issues that are the responsibility of state and federal governments. Note to all retailers: It’s time to ignore your associates who naively believe the purpose of a business is to solve social issues. The purpose of a business is to create customers and generate profits. Period.
Among the corporations that deserve to be recognized for making the right decisions are:
Walmart announced the closure of four stores in Chicago. The stores were losing money and shoplifting was costing the stores millions of dollars in lost sales. Walmart is closing 20 stores in 11 states in 2023. CEO Doug McMillon, who I believe will run for President of the United States in 2028, has stood tall by putting the needs of Walmart first. It’s called being a leader.
Whole Foods Market closed a store in Chicago earlier in the year and recently announced the closure of a store in San Francisco. Whole Foods may choose to close other stores and possibly exit most of Chicago.
CVS Pharmacy, ALDI USA, and Save A Lot closed stores in Chicago, and other locations because of continued losses and rising crime.
Target closed two stores in Chicago in 2019 and is preparing to close stores in several East Coast states due to rising crime and unprofitability. Target also recently announced they’re closing four small format stores in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and two in Washington DC.
What I find amusing is the number of people protesting Walmart’s store closures in Chicago, and trying to give the impression that Walmart has turned its back on Chicago. That’s false. What Walmart and other retailers are FINALLY doing is sending the message that they run their companies, not special interest groups.
My advice to all retailers is use 2023 as the year for identifying every unprofitable store that can’t be turned around, especially the unprofitable stores located in high-crime areas, and close them. All of them.
CEOs and boards of directors have begun to look ineffective and foolish as thousands of videos of shoplifters, drug addicts, and homeless people inside stores are shown on social media. I coined the term EINO – Executive In Name Only – to describe CEOs who focus on social issues instead of profitability and growth. EINOs should be fired and replaced with leaders.