A Giant grocery store in southeast Washington, D.C., has chosen to remove many name-brand products from shelves in a desperate attempt to fight skyrocketing theft.
The store has removed name-brand items like Advil, Colgate and Tide from the shelves — while also requiring shoppers to show their receipts to security guards prior to exiting the store.
In a statement to the Washington Post, Giant president Ira Kress explained that the company can no longer serve the community by keeping stores at high risk of theft.
“We want to continue to be able to serve the community, but we can’t do so at the level of significant loss or risk to our associates that we have today,” Kress told the outlet.
“I don’t want to do this — I’d like to sell [those products],” he later added. “But the reality is that Tide is not a profitable item in this store … In many instances people stock the product and within two hours it’s gone, so it’s not on the shelf anyway.”
He went on to explain that Giant stores have seen theft increase “tenfold in the last five years” — along with a steady increase in violence, especially at the store located on Alabama Avenue in Washington, D.C.
“And we’ve invested a significant amount of money here, even more security here than any other store,” Kress told the Washington Post.
The merchandise being removed from the shelves includes Tide detergent, Schick razors, Dove soap and Degree deodorant. According to Giant’s senior vice president of operations Diane Hicks, leaving these products on the shelves will turn the store into a theft magnet.
“I’ve been leaving it out for our customers and unfortunately it just forces all the crime to come to us,” Hicks told the outlet.
In May, Fox News reported that Giant had instituted sweeping security changes to its stores — including limiting the number of entrances to the buildings and locking up products to prevent theft.
“The alternative is worse for customers,” Kress told Fox News in a statement in May. “The last thing I want to do is close stores. But I’ve got to be able to run them safely and profitably.”
Critics are blaming “anti-police rhetoric” and soft-on-crime policies for rampant theft in Democrat-run areas like Washington, D.C., California and New York — with some pointing out that the bare shelves caused by theft and businesses like Giant removing commonly stolen products are reminiscent of third world countries.
Anti-police rhetoric and policies turn our shelves into barren badlands. Reminds me of images out of the 80's Soviet Union.
Name brands are no longer profitable at a DC store due to rampant theft. So they pull them.
— Glendale Arizona FOP Lodge 12 (@GlendaleFOP12) September 4, 2023