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Walgreens closing stores across the city, Lets talk about it

Walgreens all over the city have been closing; many people begin to question why. The reasons behind it have brought up much conversation and debate about the city, the people, recent crime and politics. Today we will cover these topics and comments from Mayor London Breed, journalists and fellow San Franciscans.

More than five stores across the city are closing by the end of November. Walgreens on Gough street near city hall, two down south on Ocean and Outer Mission, one in the Richmond district, and another in the lower mission area on Cesar Chavez. A recent video went viral on social media of a man on a bike stealing a mass amount of product into a trash bag and riding away on his bike free of charge. This man has been identified and arrested as Lugo Romero; he faces robbery and theft charges, he has been connected to several other thefts in the mission area. Mr. Lugo spent months in custody and is now receiving help with housing, which has been unstable his whole life. This man brought up a lot of controversy on social media about San Francisco's crime, specifically Prop 47.

Many have commented and said Walgreens' chain of stores closing is thanks to prop47, a proposition that reduced felony crimes to a misdemeanour, a proposition social justice activists fought to push forward to reduce jail populations. Others question whether the stores are closing because of 'organized theft' or to cut costs for the company. Mayor London Breed also says other factors come into play as to why stores are closing, like the city being saturated with stores and stores not making enough revenue, especially with a pandemic. The company's store optimization program also comes up in the conversation, plans to close stores nationwide that don't generate enough profit to focus on reconstructing for future stores. Walgreen Boots Alliance stock has recently been underperforming, and people question whether this might be another factor. Other journalists also bring up the Whittington v. Walgreens case that found Walgreens was underpaying their workers for years.

Walgreens settled a $4.5 million wage theft lawsuit last November. Walgreens failed to pay overtime wages, minimum wages, mealtime periods, lied on wage statements, and participated in other illegal business practices that ultimately took from its low-wage workers for years. Journalists and other San Franciscans bring this lawsuit to light because it is not talked about as much as the "organized retail theft" that is taking place in Walgreens across SF. People also bring up that the company shut down a more significant percentage of stores in New York during similar time periods, and the NYPD or the city reported no "theft epidemic."

We know for sure that there is a lot of debate and the conversation brings more significant issues to light that are important for SF current and future residents and workers.

What do you think? Let us know and contact us with your opinion!



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