Organized retail theft is a big issue among retailers

More than three-fourths (78%) of executives said that their company has been a victim of organized retail theft in the past 12 months and nearly one-half (46%) have witnessed an increase in organized criminal activity over the past year, according to a recent survey.

In addition, 61% say they believe that organized retail theft accounts for the majority of the shrinkage dollars lost in their company due to external theft. As a result, more than half of the respondents (51%) are allocating additional resources to address this rising problem in their companies.

The survey of 41 senior loss prevention executives nationwide was conducted by the National Retail Federation in May. Based on the survey results, NRF created the Retail Loss Prevention Intelligence Network Database, which allows retailers and law enforcement to share organized retail theft information and intelligence with one another.

“The entire retail industry is feeling the impact of this growing problem,” said Joseph LaRocca, NRF vice president of Loss Prevention. “Most retailers recognize the need to work together, tackling this problem with the assistance of their law enforcement partners.”

Retailers across the nation agree that organized retail theft has become a risk to their companies, according to the survey. When asked to rank its threat to their company, 29% of respondents categorized organized retail theft as a significant or severe threat and another 44% classified it as important.

Retail executives said that they are looking at alternative measures to tackle this rising problem. An overwhelming 98% of executives polled believe that there is a need for a national database designed specifically to track ORT. Furthermore, most retail executives said that their companies would participate in the database.