NRF Survey: Consumers Believe Retail Crime is Increasing
More than half (53 percent) of consumers believe retail crimes such as shoplifting and looting stores have increased in their community since the onset of the pandemic, according to a recent survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF). The survey, in which the NRF asked consumers a series of questions relating to crime, retail theft and organized retail crime (ORC), found that this number increased to 57 percent for consumers who live in suburban areas.
Other key findings in the survey include the following:
- Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of consumer respondents are concerned about gang-led shoplifting in their community. The number increases to 75 percent among consumers who live in urban communities.
- Three-quarters (75 percent) of respondents have personally shopped in stores where products were kept in locked cabinets to avoid theft.
- Seventy-nine percent of consumers believe retail theft impacts the price of goods that they buy.
- Half (51 percent) say law enforcement and the courts are too lenient on those who steal from stores.
The NRF conducted this survey on May 16 through May 24 and included 5,031 U.S. consumers.
Total Retail's Take: Concerns about retail theft and organized retail crime (ORC) by consumers and businesses are on the rise. Last week, for example, we reported that retail theft and ORC were cited as the leading cause of inventory shrink by retail CEOs during first quarter earnings calls and media interviews last month.
The NRF has spearheaded industry efforts for policy reform on ORC legislation, including the INFORM Act, which was passed in December 2022, and will require online marketplaces to verify the identities of high-volume third-party sellers.
Additionally, the NRF has launched a grassroots campaign in support of the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act legislation. The NRF said the bill would equip law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools and resources to effectively address this issue.