Organized retail crime is on the rise. According to NRF’s 2022 National Retail Security Survey, retailers reported an average 26.5% increase in ORC. Perhaps more concerning, retailers also noted an increase in violence and aggression associated with ORC.
Dramatic footage showing brazen criminals committing smash-and-grab robberies at retail stores has grabbed headlines across the country. These shocking crimes not only put employees and customers at risk — they also add to total shrink, costing the industry almost $100 billion in 2021.
This rise in crime has caught the attention of policymakers in Washington and they are considering legislation to help. Here are two ways Congress can fight retail crime.
Read this letter to see how 75 organizations are urging Congress to pass the INFORM Act.
Curb the sale of stolen goods online by passing the INFORM Act
The individuals that drive the increase in retail crime are part of criminal enterprises that steal large quantities of merchandise to later convert the stolen goods into cash. These stolen items are sometimes sold on online auction sites and marketplaces with their origins not properly verified.
To help curb the sale of counterfeit goods and stolen merchandise, bipartisan legislation called the INFORM Consumers Act, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Representatives Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., would require online marketplaces to verify the identity of high-volume third-party sellers.
Increase federal coordination to fight crime by passing the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act
Sophisticated criminals try to stay one step ahead of efforts designed to thwart theft, making it difficult for retailers and law enforcement to effectively coordinate response. The recently introduced Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act seeks to increase coordination between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies by establishing a Center to Combat Organized Retail Crime at Homeland Security Investigations.
Tell Congress to support the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act.
Introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Catherine Cortes-Masto, D-Nev., in the Senate, and Representatives Ken Buck, R-Colo., Dina Titus, D-Nev., Susie Lee, D-Nev., and Tedd Budd, R-N.C., the proposed Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act will help combine expertise from state and local law enforcement agencies as well as retail industry representatives.
It also creates new tools to assist in federal investigation and prosecution of organized retail crime and help recover lost goods and proceeds. This coordination is a critical step for retailers to effectively combat criminal activities.
Fight Retail Crime Day
NRF has named October 26, 2022, as Fight Retail Crime Day. On this day, NRF will recognize the nearly 100 congressional supporters of our ORC priorities as Retail Crime Fighters, encourage additional congressional support and highlight ways the retail community can make its voice heard.
We need all retail advocates to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support these bipartisan solutions to fight retail crime.