Business Insider reports that Rite Aid "is struggling against increased theft at its New York City stores that executives say cost the pharmacy chain $5 million in losses during its most recent quarter … In a call with investors Thursday, executives said the company is testing new security efforts to prevent theft in high-crime areas. Arnaud Persaud, Rite Aid's chief revenue officer, said this may mean vastly increasing the amount of products behind lock-and-key displays."
Rite Aid CEO Heyward Donigan characterized the problem as "unexpected headwinds … from front-end shrink."
The story says that "according to data from the New York Police Department, rates of petty theft in the city have increased 42% this year compared to 2021. There also was an uptick in robbery and burglary, at increases of 37% and 32%, respectively."
Business Insider notes that there was one Rite Aid location in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood that "reported $200,000 in stolen merchandise over a two-month period alone," and was forced to close earlier this year. However, Persaud says the company's goal is not to close stores, but rather "improve methods to halt theft in order to continue serving communities."