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Survey: Majority of Asset Protection Managers at Leading Retailers Across the Country Report an Increase in Organized Retail Crime
As More Consumers Shop Online Amid the Pandemic, Retailers Say That Criminals are Looking for More Ways to Cash In
Washington, DC – A majority of the asset protection managers (APMs) at leading retailers across the nation reported that there’s been an increase in organized retail crime since March of last year, according to a new survey conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association on behalf of the Buy Safe America Coalition.
APMs are responsible for preventing financial loss from theft and fraud within a company, a position that has become increasingly important given the growing problem of organized retail crime in recent years, and this year, as more people shop online. Some of the largest retail crime ring busts have happened over the past year, including one in the San Francisco Bay area that recovered $8 million in stolen merchandise from retailers including CVS, Target and Walgreens.
During a year when brick and mortar stores are already suffering due to closures and other restrictions because of COVID-19, 80 percent of the APMs surveyed also believe that organized retail crime will only get worse next year. This is especially concerning when accounting for the human impact of this criminal activity with employees being verbally threatened or physically assaulted.
“These results are unfortunately not surprising given what we know about the growing problem with criminal networks stealing mass quantities of product and selling them online to consumers,” said Michael Hanson, spokesperson for the Buy Safe America Coalition. “Until online marketplaces start collecting and verifying information from third-party sellers, there will simply be no way to keep consumers safe from the sale of fraudulent goods. The bottom line is that we need to improve transparency so that criminals are deterred from stealing in the first place and consumers can shop without fear of purchasing defective and stolen products.”
Summary of key findings include:
- Nearly 67 percent of surveyed asset protection managers reported that there’s been a moderate to considerable increase in organized retail crime since March of last year.
- 80 percent of asset protection managers reported that they believe organized retail crime will get worse in 2021.
- Organized retail crime puts employees in harms way and can often times lead to verbal threats and physical assault. Asset protection managers reported that these incidents have occurred this past year in their brick-and-mortar stores:
- Over 86 percent said that an organized retail criminal has verbally threatened an associate with bodily harm.
- Nearly 76 percent reported that an organized retail criminal has physically assaulted an associate (e.g. punched, kicked, etc.).
- Over 40 percent of APMs said that an organized retail criminal has actually used a weapon to harm an associate.
- Nearly 76 percent surveyed said that a criminal has threatened the use of a weapon against an associate.
To view more in-depth results from the poll, please contact the Buy Safe America Coalition by clicking here.
The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates and law enforcement officials who support efforts at all levels of government to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.
The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates, and law enforcement officials who support efforts to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.Learn More
The marketplace today for common, everyday goods is flooded with counterfeit and stolen products. Absent reform, legitimate businesses, and consumers will continue to be harmed.Learn More
Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes a counterfeit product? Why aren’t major online marketplaces doing more? Answers to common questions around the issue of organized retail crime.Learn More