97% of retailers are victims of organized retail crime

Retail loss due to crime is still growing, as 97 percent of senior retail loss prevention executives report that their companies have been the victim of organized retail crime (ORC) in the past year, up from 88.2 percent last year.

The $30 billion problem is requiring retail executives to get more aggressive, according to the National Retail Federation's 11th annual Organized Retail Crime Survey.

Retailers report they have lost $453,940 per $1 billion in annual sales over the past year to ORC, and spend about $434,032 to employ ORC personnel in their company. Some of the top schemes include gift cards and cargo theft.

Of those surveyed, 47 percent are allocating additional resources of some kind, up from 41.3 percent last year, to combat ORC. Specifically, 31.8 percent are allocating additional resources to staffing, up from 22.7 percent, and 24.2 percent are adding additional budget resources.

"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," said Bob Moraca, NRF's VP of loss prevention. "These new criminal methods are making it even more crucial for retailers and law enforcement to work together to combat this crime."

More than 62 percent of respondents believe senior leaders in their companies understand the severity and complexity of this issue, up from 60.5 percent last year.

Thirty states now have laws against criminals who are associated with an organized retail crime group and retailers recognize that law enforcement is stepping up. In fact, 15.4 percent have noticed an increase in support from federal law enforcement, up from 9.6 percent, and 43.1 percent have noticed an increase from local law enforcement, up from 24.6 percent.

Which cities are the top locations for ORC activity? Los Angeles came in first, followed by Miami, Chicago, New York and Houston.

For more:
-See this National Retail Federation press release

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