Study Reports Retail Crimes Continue to Rise

Oct 06, 2011, 10:44 ET from Retail Industry Leaders Association

Leading retailers report increases in organized retail crime and shoplifting

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) released the results of the 2011 Crime Trends and Leading Practices Survey, a comprehensive look at the past year's trends in crimes against businesses from the perspective of the country's leading retailers.

Survey participants reported the most significant increases in shoplifting and pharmacy theft. More than half of respondents reported an increase in the frequency with which organized rings committed shoplifting and forty-one percent (41%) saw an increase in shoplifting by individuals acting alone. Sixty-four percent (64%) of respondents reported an increase in theft of pharmaceutical products.

According to the survey results, online marketplaces continue to be a favored venue for the resale of stolen product. A majority of retailers (61%) experienced an increase in the frequency with which stolen company merchandise was resold online; none reported a decrease in the online sale of stolen goods. Retailers also reported that their stolen merchandise was resold at flea markets and store front bodegas more frequently.

"With input from the largest retailers in America, the results provide keen insight into the state of crime in the retail industry, said Lisa LaBruno Vice President of Loss Prevention and Legal Affairs. "Data detailing how crime is trending and what deterrent strategies have worked for retailers will help retailers focus their resources and develop effective strategies for mitigating risk."

"In reviewing the results, we were disappointed, though not surprised to see the continued rise in shoplifting by organized groups and individuals acting alone," LaBruno continued. "It's concerning that retailers continue to fight an uphill battle against the resale of stolen goods online, in flea markets and other venues. As long as there are channels through which thieves can resell stolen goods, it will be difficult to stem the tide of organized retail crime. That's why it's so important that we continue to explore state and federal legislative solutions and to enhance partnerships with external stakeholders to find a solution to the growing problem of ORC."

In addition to ORC, some of the other areas highlighted in the report include crimes committed by individual perpetrators, employee theft and fraud, pharmacy theft, flash mobs, retailers' legislative efforts, effective deterrence strategies and the role of social networking in investigations.

RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association