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Retailers Make a Dent in Organized Retail Crime, But Theft Still Growing Problem for Industry

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202)783-7971grannisk@nrf.com  

Click here to view complete survey or download PDF  

Retailers Make a Dent in Organized Retail Crime, But Theft Still Growing Problem for Industry
- Survey Identifies Top 10 Cities for Organized Retail Crime- 

Washington, June 10, 2010 – 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%) 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 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.”   

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.  

As the economy continues its slow recovery, retailers are starting 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. 

Thanks to NRF’s recently-announced partnership with eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace, 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%) 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.  

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% vs. 37.7% last year).   

NRF will address organized retail crime along with other loss prevention issues such as return fraud and workplace violence at its annual Loss Prevention Conference and EXPO at the Georgia World Congress Center, June 14-16 in Atlanta. Law enforcement officials and retailers are eligible for complimentary EXPO Hall passes. Visit NRF’s LP Conference website for more information.

NRF offers complimentary registration to editorial staff members of the press, plus accredited retail analysts and bloggers. Click here to register online or call Kathy Grannis at (202) 626-8189.  

About the Survey 

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. 

As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad.  In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2009 sales of $2.3 trillion. www.nrf.com

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