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Gov. Hochul Visits Bolla Market to Discuss Plan to Fight Retail Theft in New York

New protections against organized retail theft included in state’s fiscal-year 2025 budget
Bolla Market CEO and New York Governor
Photograph courtesy of New York Governor's Office

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday visited with Bolla Market President and CEO Harry Singh (pictured above) at the convenience-store chain’s Lindenhurst location to announce a new plan to fight retail theft in New York. The two discussed new landmark protections against organized retail theft included in the state's fiscal-year 2025 Enacted Budget.

"I promised the retail workers and our small business owners that I would protect them—and we are doing just that," Hochul said. "Here in New York, we are standing up to organized retail theft, backing our businesses and their workers with the full force of the law, and restoring that sense of security and peace of mind so they can focus on what they do best."

The governor's five-point plan includes increasing penalties for assaulting a retail worker; allowing prosecutors to combine items stolen from different stores when filing charges; going after third-party sellers; $40 million for retail theft units; and $5 million for added security.

New York isn’t the only state focused on retail crime. Throughout the country, retailers have seen a dramatic jump in financial losses associated with theft, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

When taken as a percentage of total retail sales in 2022, shrink accounted for $112.1 billion in losses, up from $93.9 billion in 2021, according to the 2023 National Retail Security Survey released by the NRF.

Safety is also weighing heavily on small retailers, including convenience stores.  Last month, one of the nation’s top-performing c-store chains closed one of its stores due to crime concerns. Tulsa, Oklahoma-based QuikTripshutteredits Atlanta location on Peachtree Street because of the unsafe environment for customers and employees.

It’s critically important to us that every location across our 1,000-plus store footprint nationwide delivers the in-store experience that QT customers have come to know, love, and expect, Aisha Jefferson, corporate communications manager for QuikTrip said, adding that the company regularly evaluates its stores to ensure they meet performance metrics and expectations around customer and employee safety. After evaluating this store, we decided it was not consistently meeting our expectations.

QuikTrip isn’t the only convenience-store retailer shuttering  urban locations. Sheetz and Wawa have also struggled with safety and security at urban locations forcing store closures last year.

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