Just over a century ago, America invented the self-service grocery store, which first opened in Memphis, Tennessee.
But now, supermarkets and other retail stores are closing down and locking up in inner cities with rampant crime. Next week, Target is shutting down nine stores in Harlem, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, and Oakland.
Why? Last week, the National Retail Federation estimated that “shrinkage,” including theft by staff and customers, reached $112 billion last year, up from $94 billion a year earlier.
Clothing stores are locking their doors and making customers buzz to gain entrance; supermarkets are limiting the number of carts to prevent them from being used for theft; drug stores are locking every more items in cabinets that require a clerk to come open.
Inner cities are moving back to the future by becoming food deserts again. The free pass to shoplifters and flash mobs harms low-income Americans with few convenient shopping options left.