Organized Retail Crime- What It Means For Retailers.


Posted by Brian Donnelly - 06 October, 2015

When talking about retail stores, their inventory and their bottom line, there isn’t a type of crime that plagues the industry more than organized retail crime (38% of all losses come from ORC or shoplifting). The National Retail Federation recently conducted their 11th annual Organized Retail Crime survey which polled over sixty senior retail loss prevention executives about different issues surrounding organized retail crime and the implications it has on them respectively. Almost all surveyed (97%) reported that they have been a victim of organized crime in the last year alone, this being an 88.2 percent increase. Retail as a whole has experienced a 23.4 percent increase in ORC activity between this year and last.

Due to the increased repercussions from ORC, 47 percent of those surveyed are allocating additional resources of some kind to help combat this dilemma. An important figure that stemmed out of this report is that one quarter of companies surveyed are adding additional budget resources to fund a solution to ORC. Keep in mind Organized Retail Crime isn’t an issue that has recently developed, it has slowly increased in prevalence over time and legislators have taken notice. Thirty states around the country have taken it upon themselves to create ORC laws to fight this type of crime. Retailers in these states have worked more intimately with law enforcement officials thanks to the laws passed.

Retailers have seen on average nearly half a million dollars lost per billion in annual sales due to ORC.  How organized retail crime hits retailers varies, but the most noted strategy criminals use is by way of gift cards or store credit schemes. This alone affects two thirds of the total survey pool. Out of all respondents surveyed, 66.7% say they have experienced thieves returning stolen merchandise for store credit, to then sell that merchandise credit to secondary market buyers or sellers.

Needless to say this is a heavy hit on the bottom line of store fronts and this is an issue that shouldn’t take lightly if you are a retailer especially with the peak shopping season right around the corner. ORC has a tendency to pick up during the busy and crazy holiday time. Going into the holiday season being prepared and knowing that ORC is on an incline can help you and your organization stay on the forefront of protecting your assets during the influx of holiday shoppers.  


Fun facts: Top 10 locations hit hardest by ORC…

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Miami
  3. Chicago
  4. New York, NY
  5. Houston
  6. Arlington/Dallas/Ft.Worth
  7. San Francisco
  8. Baltimore
  9. Orange County, CA.
  10. Northern New Jersey

Posted by Brian Donnelly

Brian Donnelly is the Director of Marketing at Agilence. He has 12+ years of experience in marketing B2C & B2B SaaS solutions. Outside of work, Brian enjoys exploring the greater Philadelphia area with his family and their ugly/adorable Boston Terrier.

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