Retailers See Increase in Organized Retail Crime
Organized retail crime is a growing problem for businesses. Eighty-three percent of merchants reported an increase in the past year, according to the 12th annual ORC study released today by the National Retail Federation. The survey of 59 senior retail loss prevention executives found that 100 percent said their companies had experienced ORC in the past year, up from 97 percent in 2015. This also marked the first time in the survey’s history that all responding companies reported being a victim of ORC. The average loss was $700,259 per $1 billion in sales, a significant increase from $453,940 last year.
Total Retail's Take: As if retailers didn't have enough to worry about — e.g., declining store traffic, consumers dependence on discounting, increasing competition (i.e., Amazon.com) — now they have to protect themselves from organized crime rings. From cargo theft to fraudulent online purchases to chargeback schemes, criminals are finding new and creative ways to steal from retailers. Steps are being taken to combat ORC, but apparently not enough. Fifty-six percent of retailers in states with ORC laws (there are now 34 that do) said they had seen no increase in support from law enforcement, the highest in the survey’s history. With the busy holiday season around the corner, add ORC to the list of things that retailers need to worry about.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.