Survey: Retailers Making A Dent In Organized Retail Crime

Industry partnerships, concerned law enforcement officers and resilient retailers have done their part in making a small dent in the growing problem of organized retail crime, but new research shows there’s still a lot of work to be done. According to NRF’s sixth annual ORC survey, 89.5 percent of retailers surveyed say their company has been a victim of ORC within the past 12 months, a slight decrease from last year’s 92.2 percent.
 
The survey also found that nearly six out of 10 (58.9 percent) retailers have seen an increase in ORC activity in the last 12 months, down from the nearly three-quarters (73.0 percent) who said so last year.
 
“The relationships retailers have built with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are making it harder for felons, but billions are still being lost each year from this exhausting battle with criminals, “ said NRF senior asset protection advisor Joe LaRocca. “NRF will continue to lead the fight to make sure these criminals are severely punished while federal agents and police continue to wipe out other crime rings.”
 
As the economy continues its slow recovery, retailers are starting to invest more resources into ORC awareness and prevention. Nearly half (48.4 percent) of retailers say they are allocating additional resources to address ORC, up from 41.8 percent of respondents last year.
 
Thanks to NRF’s recently-announced partnership with eBay,  as well as initiatives between NRF and federal and state law enforcement agencies, retailers have had some success identifying stolen merchandise at physical fence locations such as pawn shops and temporary stores (62.5 percent) and through e-fencing operations (66.1 percent), where stolen merchandise is sold through online auction sites. Both represent an increase over last year, a sign that criminals may be stealing more, but retailers are also doing a decent job keeping up with them.
 
When asked if they believe top management understands the complexity and severity of ORC, 50.0 percent of retailers said yes, up from 48.7 percent last year. Many retailers surveyed also say law enforcement understands the problem the industry faces (39.5 percent vs. 37.7 percent last year).

For the first time in the survey’s history, NRF asked retail executives to list cities where organized retail crime affects their stores and/or distribution centers most. The top 10 cities in alphabetical order include: Baltimore/Washington, D.C./Northern V.A., Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, New York/Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa/Orlando.

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