A major grocery store chain has announced that it will stop selling products from top brands in an effort to deter thefts.
The chain, Giant Foods, which serves Washington, D.C. and surrounding states including Maryland and Virginia, will reportedly soon clear its beauty and health aisles of all national labels.
According to The Washington Post, Giant Foods says it will no longer stock such brands as Tide, Colgate, or Advil – just store brands.
Shoppers will now also have to show their receipts to an employee before exiting the store.
“We have no other choice,” Diane Hicks, senior vice president of operations, said last week.
Hicks noted that nearby stores have already locked or removed similar products from their aisles.
“I’ve been leaving it out for our customers and unfortunately it just forces all the crime to come to us,” Hicks added.
The grocery chain currently operates 165 supermarkets throughout DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.
The change is expected to go into effect across stores in the coming days.
The move by Giant is its most recent against rampant theft hurting retailers of all sizes and across the country.
Giant has already put some items in clear lockboxes that are opened by a cashier at checkout.
The New York Post also reports that Giant’s change is a “potential last-ditch effort” to try to prevent it from closing its only store in Washington’s largely impoverished and underserved Ward 8.
The store serves more than 85,000 people in the area.
“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,” Giant President Ira Kress said.
“At this particular store, it’s actually worse,” Kress said of shoplifting.
“And we’ve invested a significant amount of money here, even more security here than any other store.”
Shoplifting, organized crime, and violence have become significant concerns for several major retailers.
Home Depot, Target, Lowe’s, Dollar Tree, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Whole Foods have all reported significant problems related to soaring crime.
Whole Foods was recently forced to close a store in downtown San Francisco due to crime and open drug use.
“Our team continues to face an unacceptable amount of retail theft and organized retail crime,” Target CEO Brian Cornell told investors last month.
“During the first five months of this year, our stores saw a 120 percent increase in theft incidents involving violence or threats of violence.”
Organized retail crime increased in 2021 by an average of 26.5%, according to a National Retail Federation study released last year, the newspaper also reports.