From the article:
“Zero shopping carts. It appears they have all been removed including the cart racks that were outside the front of the store,” read a Google review for the store posted by resident Paul Johnson on July 2. “How the hell are you supposed to purchase things like bottled water, canned sodas, beer, seltzers, or wine in the same visit?? I tried the Potrero St. and Mission st. stores too. Zero.”
If local grocery stores become less convenient, people might order stuff delivered more. If they order more stuff delivered from walmart.com or a somewhat distant Costco via instacart, then some local grocery stores will do less business. (This type of thing might happen anyways apart from inconvenience due to theft, but I have in mind here specifically the change in buying patterns that results from the government’s failure to prevent theft and the resulting inconvenience to consumers that results from that failure of government). If this carries on enough, some local grocery stores might close. Some neighborhoods might wind up with fewer or no local grocery options. Then some people will blame the coldhearted and racist machinations of the rapacious capitalists and complain about food deserts.
I saw that Target is closing at 6pm in San Francisco due to the theft. I’d expect better hours than that from a big box store in a small town. Part of what some big cities supposedly offer to their residents is the convenience and fun of a 24/7/365 lifestyle where you can go out and get stuff whenever. If that’s not the case, what are people paying the $3k-4k/mo rent for?