Walgreens Introduces ‘Anti-Theft’ Store Design In Chicago

In a move aimed at enhancing customer experiences and reducing theft, a Walgreens branch in downtown Chicago has been redesigned with only two aisles available for shoppers to browse freely. 

Located at 2 East Roosevelt, the store now requires customers to order and pick up non-essential items through a counter or digital kiosks. The store, which underwent weeks of construction, opened on Tuesday, receiving mixed reviews from customers.

While some shoppers praised the new approach, noting the convenience of accessing essential items without needing assistance, others expressed disappointment in the lack of trust implied by the heightened security measures. 

Some customers expressed dissatisfaction with the kiosk ordering system, stating that it would not increase their frequency of visits. Walgreens spokesperson told CWB Chicago that the company is testing new concepts, technologies, and practices to enhance customer experiences.

This redesign comes after Walgreens’ chief financial officer, James Kehoe, acknowledged that the company may have exaggerated the impact of organized shoplifting during an earnings call. Kehoe stated that the company had potentially spent too much on security measures. The company closed five San Francisco stores in October 2021, and said it was because of organized shoplifting.

Walgreens Layoffs

In late May, the company confirmed that it will be slashing 504 corporate jobs, equivalent to around 10% of its corporate workforce. The affected positions are primarily located at the company’s Deerfield and Chicago offices, constituting approximately 1% of its total U.S. workforce. 

The layoffs come as the company posted a net loss of $3 billion in the first half of the fiscal year, driven largely (not by organized shoplifting but) by a $5.4 billion after-tax charge related to opioid claims and litigation. 

The company, which was last year found liable for contributing to the opioid epidemic in San Francisco, reached a $230 million settlement with the city.

Information for this story was found via the Daily Mail, Yahoo News, Twitter, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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