90 Percent of Retailers Victimized by Organized Crime in Last Year

Theft continues to plague industry despite increased efforts to combat organized retail crime. A just-released NRF study finds 90 percent of retailers representing 124 different companies continue to be plagued by theft despite a heightened effort to combat organized retail crime (ORC).
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%) retailers have seen an increase in ORC activity in the last 12 months, down from the nearly three-quarters (73.0%) 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 Joe LaRocca, NRF's senior asset protection advisor. "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 begins to rebound, retailers are beginning to invest more resources into ORC awareness and prevention. Nearly half (48.4%) of retailers say they are allocating additional resources to address ORC, up from 41.8 percent of respondents last year.

NRF recently announced a partnership with eBay as well as initiatives between NRF and federal and state law enforcement agencies. These efforts are already beginning to pay off with retailers reporting success in identifying stolen merchandise at physical fence locations such as pawn shops and temporary stores (62.5%) and through e-fencing operations (66.1%), 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.

The 2010 NRF Organized Retail Crime survey was conducted from April 20 - May 18, 2010. Senior loss prevention executives at 124 different companies completed the survey with the purpose of identifying the depth of organized retail crime throughout the entire industry. This year's survey features responses from executives representing department/large box stores, discount, drug, grocery, restaurant and specialty retailers.
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