Organized retail crime is on the rise and hurting retailers.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association released the results of its “2011 Crime Trends and Leading Practices Survey” that showed more than half of respondents reported an increase in the frequency with which organized rings committed shoplifting.
Another 41 percent saw an increase in shoplifting by individuals. Sixty-four percent of respondents reported an increase in theft of pharmaceutical products.
According to the survey, online marketplaces continue to be a favored venue for the resale of stolen product, with 61 percent of respondents saying they experienced an increase in the frequency with which stolen company merchandise was resold online, and none reporting a decrease in the online sale of stolen goods. Retailers also reported that their stolen merchandise was resold at flea markets and storefront bodegas more frequently.
“Data detailing how crime is trending and what deterrent strategies have worked for retailers will help retailers focus their resources and develop effective strategies for mitigating risk,” said Lisa LaBruno, vice president of loss prevention and legal affairs at RILA, which represents more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers that combine for $1.5 trillion in annual sales.
“It’s concerning that retailers continue to fight an uphill battle against the resale of stolen goods online, in flea markets and other venues,” LaBruno added. “As long as there are channels through which thieves can resell stolen goods, it will be difficult to stem the tide of organized retail crime. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to explore state and federal legislative solutions and to enhance partnerships with external stakeholders to find a solution to the growing problem.”
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