Krog Street Market struggles with increase in reported theft


Alannah Edwards

With Krog Street Market just a short walk away from Howard Middle School, the rush of hungry students is to be expected by employees.

Alannah Edwards

While many businesses surrounding newly renovated David T. Howard Middle School have benefited from increased foot traffic, Krog Street Market, a popular dining hall located down the street from the school, has reported an increase of behavioral disruptions, including theft.

The rows of sweets and sodas lining the bright blue walls of Sweet Inman’s Candy are guaranteed to draw in middle schoolers. Samantha Tang, an employee at the shop, finds the school to be beneficial for business but comes with some risk.

“Having the school nearby has been very helpful, we love having the kids here,” Tang said. “Although the increase of customers is nice, there are definitely security difficulties that come with it. Children have sticky fingers.”

As walkways in the market become increasingly crowded, keeping track of customers has been harder for employees, resulting in an increase of theft. In response, Sweet Inman’s has developed a stronger security system to closely monitor purchases.

“We have taken a little more control by setting up ropes and regulating how many kids come in at a time,” Tang said. “We were a little nervous that it would throw them off or encourage them not to come but thankfully that hasn’t happened yet.”

As well as theft, businesses and employees at Krog Street have had to adapt to new behavioral disruptions.

“It was a difficult adjustment; our team can only do so much,” Brittany Williams, a security guard at Krog Street Market, said. “The kids have food fights, throw coke bottles around and steal. Things can get out of hand when parents aren’t around.”

Jenis’s Ice Cream, another shop located in the market, also attracts younger customers. While the increased business is financially supportive, the students make shifts increasingly more difficult for employees.

“Sometimes it gets so busy that the line reaches around the market,” Evie Sampson, a Jeni’s employee, said. “The amount of kids coming in gives us more things we need to worry about like messes and stealing. Kids can be harder to reprimand.”

While students find themselves in line for candy, ice cream and soda, other establishments are left unaffected by the afterschool traffic. Krog Street Market is advertised for all ages although some stores and restaurants are catered towards adults such as Hop City, a bar and liquor store.

“In terms of how our business is affected by the kids, it has been really minimal,” Jared Butler, the general manager of Hop City, said. “The major difference is that security now has to bounce the candy shop instead of my bar. I would rather have the tables full of people who are actually allowed to buy beer than kids but it is what it is.”

The vast diversity of establishments in the market results in mixed opinions about the increase in students visiting the market. While many businesses enjoy the increase of customers, several employees feel that the students only cause disruptions.

“I’m glad the kids are having a good time but as an employee it makes my job so much harder,” Sampson said. “From a corporate perspective it’s great, but having to worry about stealing and regulating the constant crowds of students can be stressful. Hopefully security continues to help prevent this.”