Retailers are responding to organized retail crime (ORC) more aggressively than ever. According to the preliminary findings of the 2010 National Retail Security Survey conducted by the University of Florida with a grant by ADT, retail theft increased $4 billion as compared to the previous year. Employee theft and shoplifting (including ORC) remain the main culprits of inventory shrinkage. Not only was the dollar amount higher, but the rate of theft was also high – from 1.44 percent of retail sales to 1.56 percent.
University of Florida criminologist Richard Hollinger, Ph.D., who directed the survey, reported that some experts believe ORC may be to blame for the increase.
While shoplifters and ORC rings are nothing new, the Internet has changed the game and given rise to more efficient thieves and provided more opportunities to sell their stolen items. The economy has also played in the equation by making consumers hungry for bargains and eager to purchase highly discounted items without always questioning “to good to be true” prices.
According to another report recently conducted by the National Retail Federation, 95 percent of retailers surveyed said they had been victims of ORC and almost 85 percent said that the problem had gotten worse over the past three years.
Now, retailers are taking a more aggressive approach to combating the problem. Nearly half of the retailers surveyed plan to increase their loss prevention budgets to include more technology solutions in the coming year.
Most are planning to include remote video surveillance monitoring (smart cameras), IP analytics and point-of-sale data mining among other preventative measures.
While many things could perpetuate ORC, like the web or the slow economy, retailers are pushing back to keep from passing the costs of theft along to their most valuable asset, their customers. To see the full press release of the survey, conducted with a funding grant from ADT Security Services, go to the ADT newsroom.Leave a comment