How Big is the Problem?

In today’s challenging retail environment, shrink — a loss of inventory related to theft, shoplifting, error or fraud — continues to take a bite out of the bottom line. Whether perpetrated by a dishonest employee or organized retail criminals, shrink costs retailers about 1.33% of sales, on average — a total impact on the overall U.S. retail economy of $46.8 billion in 2017. The 2018 National Retail Security Survey includes positive signs, as some of the spikes in the 2017 survey returned more to historical norms. However, overall shrink continues its upward trend — especially for those who see it as a higher percentage of sales. In 2015, only 17.1% of respondents reported shrink at 2% of sales or more. That is up to 20% in the 2018 survey.

Adding to the difficulties: Tools used to deter both internal and external crime have dropped in use and retailers are not investing in the more technologically advanced methods of preventing shrink. When dishonest employees are caught, punitive actions continue to decline. On the positive side: The average dollar loss from robberies continues a three-year decline and now result in losses of about half of what they were in 2016. Yet robberies netting $10,000 or more accounted for one-third of incidents in this report, which is higher than previous years. Another bright spot for loss prevention: More than a third of participants saw increases in staffing and overall budgets, with fewer experiencing declining budgets. But a tremendous gap remains. Those surveyed say they need eight additional LP employees to keep up. And that comes as skill demands have increased. There is a continued need for more investigatory and analytical skills, as well as regional LP managers. It becomes clear that there is more pressure on LP than ever before to combat crime, and the expectations continue to expand. LP professionals help play a role in combating cybercrime, meeting at least quarterly with IT and cybersecurity colleagues to discuss threats and crisis management plans. But there is room for improvement: While the majority of retailers have cybersecurity incident response plans in place, they do not always involve LP teams.

The Response

Partnerships between law enforcement and retail investigators are forming to combat the problem.  These Alliances share cross jurisdictional information to identify, disrupt, and apprehend Organized Retail Crime (ORC) crews.




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  In The News
2020 NRSS Report
7/14/20 4:24 PM

2019 IROCC Symposium
The 2019 Symposium was a huge success. [More]
Retail Shrink Tops $50 Billion as Cyber Threats Become More of a Priority
Retail Shrink Tops $50 Billion as Cyber Threats Become More of a Priority
6/10/19 8:00 AM

Retail Shrink Tops $50 Billion as Cyber Threats Become More of a Priority 

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2019 – Theft, fraud and losses from other retail “shrink” totaled $50.6 billion in 2018, up from $46.8 billion the year before as industry security executives said there is a growing overlap between loss prevention and cybersecurity efforts, according to the annual National Retail Security Survey released today by the National Retail Federation and the University of Florida.

“We are seeing dramatic changes in the risks faced by retailers, and loss prevention practices and priorities are evolving to meet those challenges,” NRF Vice President for Loss Prevention Bob Moraca said. [More]

Customers paying more at checkout due to increase in organized retail crime
Source: Fox59 Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind - When 41-year-old William Allen allegedly shot Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Eric Rosenbaum two weeks ago, Allen was already being investigated for multiple thefts at retail stores in at least two counties.

Investigators believe Allen, who already had criminal history in four states, was making money through organized retail crime, or ORC.

“When you are stealing product and making profit,” said Lowe’s Regional Security Director, Matt Thompson.

Thompson oversees security and asset protection at 36 Lowe’s stores in Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Indiana needs meaningful retail theft legislation
Source: IndyStar
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Indiana Retail Council to express our support for the full recovery of IMPD officer Eric Rosenbaum and to sincerely thank him and his fellow officers for their never-ending assistance in fighting the crime of retail theft.