Or­gan­ised crime costs U.S. re­tail­ers $30 bln

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Or­gan­ised crime takes a huge bite out of re­tail sales, as much as $30 bln in the past year. That is slightly more than all the an­nual rev­enue of Sears Hold­ings Corp., par­ent of Sears and Kmart.

A new study by the Na­tional Re­tail de­scribes the mag­ni­tude of the prob­lem:

“Re­tail loss preven­tion ex­ec­u­tives have their hands full, and when it comes to the or­ga­nized crime gangs that wreak havoc on their stores, their in­ven­tory and their bot­tom line, re­tail­ers are get­ting more ag­gres­sive in their ef­forts to fight the $30 bln prob­lem. Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion’s 11th an­nual Or­gan­ised Re­tail Crime Sur­vey, which polled 67 se­nior re­tail loss preven­tion ex­ec­u­tives, nearly all (97%) re­tail­ers sur­veyed re­port that they have been a vic­tim of ORC in the past year, up from 88.2% who said so last year.”

So, the size of the prob­lem is ex­tra­or­di­nary and can be added to the wide­spread prob­lem of shoplift­ing by both con­sumers and em­ploy­ees. It is a won­der that, be­tween or­ga­nized crime gangs and shoplift­ing, re­tail­ers have any prof­its at all.

And the ef­fects based on the bite or­ga­nized crime takes are


(NRF) tremen­dous:

“Re­tail­ers on av­er­age re­port they have lost $453,940 per $1 bln in an­nual sales over the past year. Ad­di­tion­ally, the sur­vey found on av­er­age re­tail­ers al­lo­cate ap­prox­i­mately $434,032 to spe­cific or­gan­ised re­tail crime per­son­nel in their com­pany.

Among the pri­mary ef­forts used by crim­i­nals are cargo theft and the mis­use of gift card and re­turn poli­cies.”

The sur­vey showed that much of the ac­tiv­ity is con­cen­trated in sev­eral cities: Los An­ge­les, Mi­ami, Chicago, New York, Hous­ton, Ar­ling­ton/Dal­las/Ft. Worth, San Fran­cisco/Oak­land, Bal­ti­more, Or­ange County, Calif., North­ern New Jersey.

While many re­tail­ers have called on and been helped by law en­force­ment groups, the progress has been mod­est:

“NRF asked re­tail­ers about the sup­port they get from law en­force­ment in the states where they have a pres­ence and that have ORC laws, and the sur­vey found 15.4% of those sur­veyed say they have no­ticed an in­crease in sup­port from fed­eral law en­force­ment, up from 9.6% who said so last year; 43.1% say they’ve no­ticed an in­crease in sup­port from lo­cal/county law en­force­ment and 24.6% say sup­port from state law en­force­ment has grown.”

So mod­est that the crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity may be out­pac­ing help from le­gal author­i­ties.

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