CVS Pharmacy Combats Shoplifting by Displaying Photographs Instead of Actual Items

JoeyMannarinoUS via Twitter/X

A CVS pharmacy located in the nation’s capital has adopted an unconventional approach to combat increasing shoplifting rates by showcasing only photographs of its products.

Actual items, ranging from toiletries to kitchen necessities, are stored away, with customers having to summon employees to retrieve their desired products.

The extreme measure comes in the wake of consistent attacks on the store, including a recent event where a group of approximately 50 teenagers ransacked the establishment. Disturbing images have surfaced showing entirely emptied shelves, believed to be the daily result of gangs of youth targeting the store.

Conservative commentator Joey Mannarino highlighted the issue by juxtaposing the emptied CVS shelves with his recent observation in Barcelona, Spain. “I saw Mac laptops sitting out in the middle of the store,” Mannarino shared, adding an image of a well-stocked display. “Where has America gone wrong?” he lamented.

In response to the escalating shoplifting menace, CVS has unveiled plans to close 900 of its outlets across the country by 2024.

This move by CVS reflects the alarming statistics reported by the National Retail Federation which estimates a loss of $112 billion annually due to shoplifting.

Sierra Fox, a reporter for Fox 5, noted the unsettling atmosphere in the DC CVS. She recounted that the store appeared almost vacant, guarded by a lone security officer clearly outnumbered by groups of young shoplifters.

Retail theft surged to $86.6 billion in 2022, according to CapitalOne Research, with projections suggesting it may exceed $115 billion by 2025. UBS analysts further predict the closure of around 50,000 US stores within the next half-decade due to the dual challenges of rising theft and the shift towards online retail.

CVS isn’t the sole pharmacy grappling with this crisis. Rite Aid has announced the shuttering of 150 outlets from its 2,100 strong nationwide chain after declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This decision was influenced by both theft and the opioid crisis litigation.

Walgreens, another major player, intends to close 150 stores by 2024.

Outside of pharmacies, retail giant Target attributes the closure of nine stores in cities like Oakland, New York, and San Francisco, directly to rampant shoplifting. They emphasized the need for a safe environment for both employees and customers.

An unfortunate consequence of this trend is the emergence of “pharmacy deserts.” JAMA Network warns that these closures could deprive millions of Americans of essential medication access.

“About one in four neighborhoods are pharmacy deserts across the country,” Dima Qato from the University of Southern California told The Washington Post.

Companies like TelePharm suggest remedies such as prescription delivery and telepharmacy as potential solutions to the looming health care access crisis.

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