May 16, 2022

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What’s going on with San Francisco Walgreens closures?

In reaction to the unflattering narrative, San Francisco’s elected leaders and progressive activists questioned the legitimacy of Walgreens’ explanation for the shop closures.

“They are indicating which is the most important rationale, but I also think when a position is not building revenue, and when they’re saturated — S.F. has a good deal of Walgreens places all around the town — so I do assume that there are other components that appear into play,” Mayor London Breed explained to reporters Wednesday.


Supervisor Dean Preston then wrote a Twitter thread lamenting that “media studies have recognized with out evaluation Walgreens’ assertion that it is closing owing to retail theft,” and shared an SEC filing from 2019 in which Walgreens introduced strategies to close 200 suppliers.

“So is Walgreens closing merchants simply because of theft or simply because of a pre-current small business strategy to slice costs and increase gains by consolidating stores and shifting customers to on the net buys?” Preston questioned.

The city’s leaders and critics alike surface hugely inspired to preserve their respective narratives, and the on the internet discourse on the Walgreens closures is as polarized as one would be expecting with regards to San Francisco criminal offense.

To make feeling of whether or not Walgreens is telling the fact, let’s begin with the August 2019 SEC filing Preston and other town progressives are broadly sharing. It states that the company “plans to close roughly 200 destinations in the United States,” as aspect of a “price administration application” that was announced in December 2018.

For reference, the closures designed up about 3% of Walgreens’ practically 10,000 places in the United States, CNBC noted, and Walgreens has shut 10 San Francisco locations considering the fact that the begin of 2019.

A spokesperson for Walgreens told SFGATE in an e mail that the charge-cutting application to near San Francisco places experienced “been beforehand completed” forward of the Wednesday announcement that five more shops will shut.

When SFGATE requested Walgreens to straight answer to expenses from Preston and other people that the chain is weighing other things to consider beyond retail theft, the spokesperson stopped returning emails.

According to San Francisco’s criminal offense dashboard, larceny theft is up almost 8% 12 months-around-year, even though crime studies in 2020 are skewed downward simply because the early days of the pandemic introduced everyday living to a in close proximity to-halt and forced short-term shop closures.

When evaluating 2021 larceny theft figures to pre-pandemic 2019 figures, one will find that reviews of theft are actually down. From Jan. 1, 2021, to Oct. 10, 2021, there have been 21,842 reviews of larceny theft, and there had been 31,958 reviews above the similar period in 2019, which is a 31.6% minimize. 

There were being 33,312 studies of larceny theft in the course of the identical time interval in 2018 and 35,483 reviews in that period in 2017, so the number of theft experiences has basically been in drop over the previous several many years.

Having said that, examining San Francisco’s crime figures with no an outside reference won’t inform the full tale, as the city has greater-than-usual premiums of home criminal offense. FBI information from 2017 confirmed that of the 20 most important cities in the United States, San Francisco had the maximum price of residence crimes per capita, and in 2019, S.F. had the best level of home crimes in the state of California.

That reported, the notion that larceny theft has gotten considerably worse in excess of the previous handful of a long time is not supported by the information — even if there has been an enhance in viral video clips showing brazen thefts. Walgreens could argue that the level of retail theft in San Francisco continues to be so higher that calendar year-more than-12 months decreases are not moving the needle and operating in San Francisco remains unprofitable, but the company has not — and likely will not — open its guides up for overview.

It is also really worth pointing out that larceny theft encompasses a broader swath of crimes than just retail theft, like thefts of bicycles, motor car or truck sections and add-ons. San Francisco does not report studies on retail theft in isolation, enable by yourself drug store thefts in isolation.

No matter, the scenario connected both to Walgreens and San Francisco crime is a bit additional intricate than prevailing narratives may suggest.