Yesterday, the National Retail Federation put out the results of their 2015 Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Survey, an annual study, revealing that 97% of retailers surveyed were victims of organized gang retail theft within the past 12 months. A nine percent increase over last year with four out of five retailers reporting they have been hit significantly by organized retail theft. According to the survey the average loss per $1 billion in annual sales due to ORC specifically was $453,940. Nearly 37.9% of retailers revealed that they were victims of cargo theft, merchandise stolen before it actually reaches the store; 18 of 23 retailers said were impact en route from the distribution center to the store, while 12 of 23 retailers stated theft occurred en route from the manufacturer to the distribution center.
The top five cities for organized retail gang crime are the same as last year; Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, New York and Houston. The top items stolen by organized retail crime gangs are; grocery, over-the counter medicine, items for the home like high-end vacuums, high-end small appliances, children’s electronic toys and laundry detergent, health and beauty supplies, clothing and electronics. Many retailers have reported experiencing the latest trends in organized theft including “smash and grabs,” “grab and runs,” “flash mobs” or use of “pepper” spray, the theft of customer loyalty account information, on-line application fraud, and an increase in the number of synthetic identify frauds and bust out schemes.
Due to this increase of organized retail gang crime the survey discovered that more retailers this year are allocating a variety of resources to actively combat this theft, 31.8% of retail companies have increased staff, 31.8% have allocated resources for more technology and 24.2% have increased their budget for better loss prevention measures.