LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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O rganized retail crime (ORC) is a significant source of loss for US retailers. Exactly how significant is notoriously difficult to tease out, but new data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) puts average losses at $726,351 per $1 billion in sales, with a median loss of $260,870. In addition to high losses, retailers are also witnessing a growing amount of ORC activity in their stores, according to the NRF's 2017 Organized Retail Crime Survey released in November. Two out of three responding retailers said ORC has worsened in the last twelve months compared to the twelve months previous, with 30 percent reporting a "significant increase" in ORC. Fewer than 7 percent said ORC has decreased during the same period. "Organized retail crime continues to be one of the biggest challenges to retailers of all sizes…with criminals getting smarter, more brazen, more aggressive," according to Bob Moraca, CPP, CFE, MBA, vice president for loss prevention at the NRF. As for what's driving the increase, ORC investigators on the front line point the finger at problems well beyond a store's front door. "It's drugs," said Mike Powell, an ORC investigator for Kroger. "There is no doubt the oxy epidemic is driving ORC business." Nathan Bandaries, an organized retail crime manager at Albertsons, agrees. "Ninety percent of the boosters we catch are on drugs. They wake up desperate because they only have a matter of hours to 'get well'—to go steal and navigate to their dealers. It's a cycle that repeats itself, day after day," said Bandaries. That desperation may partly be behind the increase in aggression that retailers described in the NRF survey. Twenty-seven percent said ORC thieves exhibited "much more" aggression and violence over the last twelve months; 21 percent said "somewhat more." Moraca explained, "More and more, these criminals are coming in and menacing ORC IS WORRISOME, WORSENING… Bob Moraca In the Last Year, ORC Activity Has Increased *Average loss per $1 billion in sales in previous 12 months (Source for all figures: National Retail Federation) Losses Attributed to ORC Are Rising 0 200,000 400,000 600,000 800,000 2017 2016 2015 $726,351 $700,259 $453,940 Slight Increase Significant Increase No Change Slight Decrease Significant Decrease 36.8% 30.2% 0.9% 5.7% 26.4% 36 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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