business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that "restaurants and grocery stores said they are revamping operations in response to crime, with some operators limiting hours, spending more on security and closing stores entirely."

Some examples cited in the story:

"Starbucks Corp. last week said that it was permanently closing 16 U.S. stores after workers reported incidents related to drug use and other disruptions, and would likely close more. Casual dining chain Noodles & Co. has encountered drug use in bathrooms in certain markets, and is training workers on how to respond, Chief Executive Dave Boennighausen said. Supermarket giant Kroger Co. last year listed organized theft among the factors pressuring its profit margins for the first time."

And, some context:

"Food-oriented establishments and consumers are airing increased concerns over crime as U.S. consumers have resumed shopping in stores and dining out, after governments and businesses lifted Covid-19 restrictions. Forty-four percent of 1,005 adults surveyed earlier this month said they were more fearful to be in public because of bad behavior and rising violence, up from 39% in March, according to a national online survey by food-service research firm Lisa W. Miller & Associates LLC.

"Violent crime has been on the rise in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic, with cities including Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York reporting a surge in shootings and killings. Murder rates have also soared in rural areas. Local officials and law enforcement point to pandemic-related stress, a proliferation of guns and increased alcohol sales, among other factors.

"While violent crimes in restaurants and grocery stores remain a small part of the overall U.S. total, incidents have increased in recent years, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics. The number of aggravated assaults that took place in restaurants increased by 60% from 2018 to 2020, the FBI data showed, and the number in grocery stores increased by 73% during the period."

KC's View:

Add this to the stresses being felt by many retail employees - there is a sense that when they go to work, they may not be safe.  It is the same feeling that many teachers have, and it is an overwhelming sense that employers have to factor into the ways in which they lead.