National Trends in Organized Retail Crime
In my career as a loss prevention detective working in a large-scale retail environment, I stayed up to date on general trends in retail loss prevention. One issue increasingly of concern to businesses large and small is the proliferation of organized retail crime (ORC). The National Retail Federation (NRF) recorded several troubling trends in its most recent 2011 annual ORC survey. Collecting data from a wide range of sources including grocery stores, restaurants, and department stores, NRF found that 95 percent of businesses surveyed had been victims of organized retail crime in the past 12 months. This represented a six percent increase from the year before, with retailers noting that criminals were increasingly putting employees and customers at risk by violent actions.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - National Trends in Organized Retail Crime
National Trends in OrganizedRetail CrimeBy Joe Buchwald
National Trends in OrganizedRetail CrimeIn my career as a loss prevention detective workingin a large-scale retail environment, I stayed up todate on general trends in retail loss prevention.One issue increasingly of concern to businesseslarge and small is the proliferation of organizedretail crime (ORC). The National Retail Federation(NRF) recorded several troubling trends in its mostrecent 2011 annual ORC survey. Collecting datafrom a wide range of sources including grocerystores, restaurants, and department stores, NRFfound that 95 percent of businesses surveyed hadbeen victims of organized retail crime in the past12 months. This represented a six percent increasefrom the year before, with retailers noting thatcriminals were increasingly putting employees andcustomers at risk by violent actions.
National Trends in OrganizedRetail CrimeOne major trend in organized retail crime involvescargo theft, which now affects nearly half of allrespondent businesses. The major point ofvulnerability in the supply chain is duringtransportation from distribution center to retailoutlets. With most cargo theft occurring near majorurban hubs and highway systems, criminals areable to make quick escapes across state borders.Retailers are increasingly active in identifying fencelocations for stolen goods. These include fleamarkets, pawn shops, and warehouses. Internetauction sites have become another popular salesoutlet for criminals, who often pose as legitimatesellers. Commonly fenced items include designerclothes, bags, accessories, over-the-countermedicine, and baby food.
National Trends in OrganizedRetail CrimeWith the current economic downturn affectingretailers’ bottom lines, companies are asking more oftheir prevention loss personnel. Senior lossprevention executives are now working closely withemployees at all organizational levels, tighteningvulnerabilities and strengthening engagement inactively preventing loss. In addition, retailers areincreasing engagement with law enforcementagencies at the local, state, and federal levels.
About the AuthorJoe Buchwald graduated from theUniversity of South Carolina in2008, earning a B.S. in Criminal Justice& Criminology. Following a career inretail loss prevention and lawenforcement, he now works as theBusiness Development Manager for theNortheast Region of GOGO WorldwideVacations.