Retailers under attack by organized crime gangs
They may win some battles, but it’s hard to say merchants are winning the war against organized crime gangs when you look at the $30 billion the retail industry is losing on annual basis.
According to National Retail Federation’s "Organized Retail Crime Survey," 97 percent of retail loss prevention executives said organized criminal groups victimized their businesses over the past year. That’s up from 88.2 percent in 2014.
"Even with state-of-the-art technology available, trained employees on the ready, extensive partnerships with all levels of law enforcement and additional resources on hand, retailers continue to grapple with the challenges that come with fighting organized retail crime," said Bob Moraca, NRF’s vice president of loss prevention, in a statement. "Brazen and often dangerous criminals are finding new ways every day to manipulate the retail supply chain; from the docks where merchandise comes in to criminal flash mobs that involve several individuals running into a store at once, the methods used by crime gangs today run the gamut."
Retailers, on average over the past year, lost $453,940 for every $1 billion in annual sales to organized retail crime. They also spent $434,032 for every billion in annual sales on personnel to try and thwart the criminal activity.
Source: 2015 NRF Organized Retail Crime Study. July 13 to August 6, 2015. (n=67)
NRF’s members are turning to state and federal legislators and law enforcement agencies to address a problem that hasn’t received the attention it deserves considering its impact on businesses and, ultimately, on the price of goods paid by consumers.
So far this year, five states have passed organized retail crime legislation, bringing the total to 30 that have laws on the books for individuals associated with criminal gangs who target retail businesses.
NRF and its members have argued that the federal government needs to be more actively involved in responding to the problem as much of the merchandise stolen from retailers winds up being transported across state lines. Roughly 79 percent of those surveyed by NRF believe a federal law is needed to more effectively address the issue.
According to the NRF, 37.9 percent of respondents have experience cargo theft over the past year, up from 35.4 percent the year before.
On the upside, retailers report progress in finding stolen merchandise online and in physical locations such as storefronts, pawnshops, flea markets and kiosks. Fifty-nine percent report having recovered stolen merchandise over the past year.
- National Retail Federation Survey Finds ORC Still Prevalent Across The Industry – National Retail Federation
Where do you think the greatest opportunities exist for disrupting organized retail crime activity? Is federal legislation key to taking the fight to organized criminal groups targeting retail?