US retail on severe fight against ORC

Aug 31, 2023

Earlier today, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay joined host Stuart Varney on Fox Business’  Varney & Co to discuss the retail industry’s continued fight against organized retail crime (ORC), and the brazen acts of theft that accompany them, in stores throughout the country.

NRF’s 2022 National Retail Security Survey found that retailers lost an estimated $94.5 billion nationwide to shrink in 2021 alone, and 70% of retailers believe ORC has become a more prevalent threat over the last five years.

According to Shay said on the ORC’s Contributing Factors that, “There are several contributing factors that go back many years that impact how we classify these crimes. Property crimes are no longer felonies; they are considered misdemeanors in states and jurisdictions across the country. Prosecutors have deemphasized prosecution of these crimes and police forces are understaffed and unable to pursue these crimes.”

By advocating for multipronged solutions Shay said, “With ORC, you have the environment that creates the problem, the actual acts themselves and then the resale of the stolen merchandise. To address this, we have first gone after the marketplaces where counterfeit and stolen goods are sold through the passage of the Inform Act last year.

Now we are advocating for the bipartisan Combating Organized Retail Crime Act in Congress, to ensure coordination and resources across federal, state and local agencies. We’ve also set up more than a dozen task forces across the country with attorneys general in New York, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, Utah, New Mexico, California. They’re recognizing the challenge of the problem and putting in resources.”

He reviews the community impact & said, “The people that get hurt here are the local communities and there have been tragedies. The level of incidence of violence that goes on now is a level we’ve never seen before. Ultimately the losers are those communities and customers who don’t have the goods. The goods are either locked up, out of stock or the store is closed. It’s a persistent, pervasive problem and we’re working hard to try to solve it.”

As the leading authority and voice for the retail industry, NRF has long advocated for policy solutions to stifle the threat of retail crime in stores large and small across the country. NRF is declaring Oct. 26 Fight Retail Crime Day and is convening retailers in Washington, D.C. to advocate for passage of the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act.

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