Organized retail crime has pushed five more Walgreens in San Francisco to close, according to the company’s spokesperson.
The first to close is its store at 2550 Ocean Ave., scheduled Nov. 8, and will move the prescription files to 1630 Ocean Ave.
Three days after, on Nov. 11, another location at 4645 Mission St. will close. The prescription files will be transferred to 965 Geneva St.
Two closures were scheduled on Nov. 15, at 745 Clement St. and 300 Gough St., which will transfer prescription files to 3601 California St. and 2145 Market St., respectively.
Finally, on Nov. 17, the 3400 Cesar Chavez St. location will also close and the prescriptions will transfer to 2690 Mission St.
“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” Phil Caruso, Walgreens’ spokesperson, said. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”
Employees from the closing stores are hoped to be transferred to other locations.
The closing of the drugstore chain on Mission Street “devastated” San Francisco Board of Supervisor Ahsha Safai of District 11. In a Twitter post, he said: “I am completely devastated by this news – this Walgreens is less than a mile from seven schools and has been a staple for seniors, families and children for decades. This closure will significantly impact this community.”
In a statement to SFGATE, Safai said that an off-duty police officer was installed to secure the store on Mission Street in recently but it was “too little, too late for this store.”
Safai said he has communicated with the company and organized crimes affect the safety of their customers and employees. “This is a sad day for San Francisco,” he said. “We can’t continue to let these anchor institutions close that so many people rely on.”
Last year in October, Walgreens closed its 790 Van Ness Ave. location due to the jump in crime, according to a report by San Francisco Chronicle. The store said up to $1, 000 worth of merchandise was lost every day to shoplifters.