Seattle, WA

Retail Giant Makes Tough Decisions, Resulting in Layoffs in Seattle

Ash Jurberg

Job Cuts Hit Seattle as Retail Giant Cuts Stores

Earlier this week, Target announced it was closing nine stores nationwide, including two in Seattle, Washington.

The University Way and Ballard stores will close on October 21 due to ongoing theft and security issues leading to poor business performance of the stores. Target had invested in more security staff, used third-party guard services, and implemented theft-deterrent tools, but unfortunately, these strategies didn't work.

Today, Target advised that 39 staff would be laid off as a result.

Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, an employer with more than 100 full-time workers must provide a 60-day notice before laying off 50 or more people at a single site.

Target notified the Washington Employment Security Department that 39 Target staff would be laid off on December 30.

Once they are closed, there will be 22 Target stores remaining in Seattle.

Last month, Target CEO Brian Connell spoke about the impact of closing stores.

We know how important our stores are. They create local jobs, they generate taxes, they’re very important for those local shoppers, and they play a critical role in communities across the country. We’ll continue to do everything in our power to keep our doors open. At the same time, we’ll be closely monitoring the safety of our team and guests as well as the financial impact to our business as we determine the right path forward at Target."

Ongoing problems in Seattle

The National Retail Federation ranked Seattle 8th in the nation for the highest organized retail crime. Last year, retailers in Washington reported an increase in theft, resulting in a loss of $2.7 billion.

The Seattle Police Department received 13,103 calls from the top 100 retail locations in the city, most of which related to retail theft. Responding to these calls equated to 18,615 hours — the same as a year's worth of work by nine full-time officers.

Your thoughts

Are you disappointed to see these stores close? Are you concerned about the loss of jobs? Do you believe crime is a significant problem in Seattle? What should the city do to fix the situation?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and share this article with others so more people can join the discussion.

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