Rising Retail Theft Prompts Closure of Target’s Big Box Harlem Store
Since the onset of the pandemic, New York City has seen a well-documented spike in shoplifting with complaints in 2022 reaching a record number of more than 63,000. Driving the increase in numbers is the rise of “organized retail crime” — groups that systematically steal from stores and resell the products elsewhere according to some law enforcement officials and retail trade groups. The inability to operate its Harlem store safely and successfully, despite efforts to change the situation, has prompted decisions by discount retail chain Target to close its 174,000 big box store at the East River Plaza shopping center in East Harlem. Opening in 2010, the deal represented Target’s New York City debut. The Harlem store is among a list of 9 stores that the retailer plans to close across the U.S. for similar reasons. However, remaining committed to the city, Target will be opening its new 33,000-square-foot store in Union Square in late October, with other planned locations in Harlem, Chelsea, Astoria, the East Bronx, and Mill Basin, Brooklyn.