Spam gets banned due to inflation in NYC

Spam gets banned due to inflation in NYC

It’s the nation’s crises in a can.

Inflation and crime have gotten so bad in Gotham that even cheap meat like Spam needs to be locked up.

At Duane Reade’s store in the Port Authority Bus Depot, the durable product – only $3.99 a can – is now stored in theft-proof plastic crates.

“I’ve never seen that before!” A cashier laughed as she used a magnet to remove a can of Spam from her cage.

The cashier was among the staff, tourists and regulars who were stunned that the iconic blue and yellow cans are now being kept under lock and key – some even poked fun at the sight as “a sort of Jeff Koons homage”. per viral tweet.

Jenny Kenny, 43, who was visiting from Louisville, KY, was aware of the ongoing crime waves hitting cities like New York and San Francisco but still couldn’t believe she was seeing “so many things in boxes.”

“Some of these things are pretty ridiculous,” she said.

As prices and crime soar, New York City stores have taken to locking up staples like toothpaste and soap to prevent crooks from stealing the products and then peddling the products on the sidewalk or on online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

However, some shoppers were confused as to why Spam was locked under plastic along with $1.89 cans of StarKist tuna, while more expensive edibles like $5.49 cans of Amy’s Soup were unencumbered.

“Caging spam is stupid — and kind of offensive to the customers who would buy it,” said shopper Dennis Snow, 46.

Snow said he doesn’t think Spam is being stolen to “sell for crack,” but because the area’s homeless are looking for a quick and easy meal.

SPAM is locked in a Duane Reade at Port Authority.
William C. Lopez/NYPOST
A buyer called the locked up SPAM
A buyer described the locked SPAM as “insulting”.
William C. Lopez/NYPOST

“Someone steals this because they need it,” agreed Delia Kemph, a 28-year-old teacher.

Employees at the store said thefts have increased sharply over the past two years, with one estimating there are at least four shoplifters every evening shift.

“I don’t think they’re stopping anything,” said Iggy, 21, a salesman, of the anti-theft cases. “It’s security theatre. If you really needed it, you would trample on it.”

The employee’s complaints were prescient: Around 7 p.m. Thursday on Thursday, a man in a black tank top and gray sweatpants had an employee unlock the glass case for a $38 electric razor, then charged the device past a yellow-shirted security guard and out the door.

With inflation spiraling out of control — the CPI rose 9.1 percent year-on-year in June, despite President Biden this week refusing to acknowledge the country is in recession despite the economy contracting for two straight quarters — Encouraged thieves have found a ready market for discounted stolen goods among recession-weary consumers.

The locked goods are said to be due to a rise in crime as inflation rises.
The locked goods are said to be due to a rise in crime as inflation rises.
William C. Lopez/NYPOST

Petit theft complaints for the NYPD Midtown South Precinct, which includes the Port Authority bus depot, are up 52 percent from the same period last year to 1,771 through July 24.

Hormel CEO Jim Snee told analysts last month that prices for their legacy product would rise in late July to cover increased transportation, packaging and meat costs.

A spokeswoman for Walgreens, which owns Duane Reade, declined to say why spam was blocked at that particular location and that the installation of anti-theft devices is “in response to stolen data.”

Liz Tawfik, 57, a home nurse, complained that the extra security measures are hampering what was once a smooth shopping experience — and upsetting customers like her.

Many customers find the lockdown annoying.
Many customers find the lockdown annoying.
William C. Lopez/NYPOST

“When you take a puff, you want to grab something fast, it’s not fast anymore,” she said. “You might as well have someone at the door and get you what you want.”

Not all drugstores have blocked spam.

Two other Duane Reades and a CVS in the Times Square area, along with a Rite Aid and a CVS in Central Harlem, sold their cans of Spam without a cage.

Dariel Cepin, 23, an employee at Duane Reade on West 44th Street, said, “This is where we lock up ice cream.”

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