Giant Food Stops Selling National Brands to Combat Shoplifting

D.C. store to remove high-theft merchandise
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Tide Theft
Some retailers are locking up high-theft merchandise like Tide detergent in an effort to stop retail crime.

The theft issue has not gotten any better for Ahold Delhaize-owned Giant Food. A few months after revealing various strategies to stop shoplifting, the regional grocer is now being forced to remove high-theft national brands from at least one of its stores.

A Giant Food market in Washington D.C., will clear its beauty and health aisles of all national labels, reported The Washington Post. That means no more Tide, Colgate or Advil, only store brands. Shoppers also will have to present their receipts to an employee before exiting the store.

According to the news outlet, it’s a potential last-ditch effort to avoid shutting down the unprofitable store on Alabama Avenue SE — the only major grocer east of the Anacostia River in Ward 8.

“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,” said Giant President Ira Kress.

Other brands that the grocer will remove to curb losses include Schick razor blades, Dove soap, Degree deodorant and Pantene shampoo.Those products are easy to steal or have higher resale values, according to Kress.

Rampant theft is plaguing food retailers of all sizes. In June, a group of shoplifters stole more than $500 worth of detergent from a King Soopers store in Arapahoe County, Colo. (An employee was fired after he filmed the shoplifters in action.)

A year after it opened as a flagship store, the Whole Foods Market at Trinity Place in downtown San Francisco closed its doorsfollowing incidents of increased theft and crime in the area.

Further, during Target’s first-quarter earnings report, CEO Brian Cornell said  that he expects overall shrink — driven mainly by theft and organized retail crime — to reduce the company’s profitability by more than $500 million this year when compared with last year. 

“Our team continues to face an unacceptable amount of retail theft and organized retail crime,” Cornell told investors last month. “During the first five months of this year, our stores saw a 120% increase in theft incidents involving violence or threats of violence.”

Meanwhile, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National District Attorneys Association are joining forces to address retail crime and violence through their recently launched National Store Walk Month. Taking place in September, the initiative invites district attorneys nationwide to walk through retail stores with management teams in an effort to exchange insights, foster understanding and work synergistically to reduce retail crime and other unlawful activity.

Amid its theft challenges, Giant Food also recently revealed that it is planning to close its fulfillment centers in Hanover, Md.; Milford, Del.; and Manassas, Va., to adopt a structure for a more localized fulfillment model.

Based in Landover, Md., Giant Food operates 165 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, with approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 165 stores are 153 full-service pharmacies, more than 80 full-service PNC Banks and 29 Starbucks locations. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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