November 29, 2021
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Organized Retail Crime is this Season’s Holiday Grinch
Within recent weeks, organized retail crime rings have targeted retailers across the nation in brazen robberies, putting innocent consumers and hard-working employees directly in harm’s way. These criminal syndicates, which have stolen over $68 billion worth of merchandise, are often using online platforms to sell the products ripped off retailers’ shelves. A slew of news stories about these theft rings — from California to Minnesota — all reveal how organized retail crime has grown out of control, and underscore why it must be addressed with a comprehensive legislative solution.
The Buy Safe America Coalition continues to support the INFORM Consumers Act — the most effective solution to preventing sophisticated theft rings from selling stolen products on e-commerce platforms.
Check out some of the latest stories about organized retail crime.
The New York Times: California Leaders Vow to Crack Down After High-Profile Burglaries
Estimates vary widely for how much money retailers lose through "organized retail crime" — an industry term with a broad definition that includes smash-and-grab burglaries and thefts by employees. The Retail Industry Leaders Association, which advocates on behalf of retailers, said this month that organized retail crime cost companies nearly $69 billion in 2019.
CBS News: Stores in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul are the latest to be hit by organized thieves
Organized shoplifting is an ongoing menace for major retailers across the U.S., with groups of thieves making off with electronics, clothing and footwear on Black Friday in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Chicago. Large groups of criminals stole pricey products from Best Buy stores in Maplewood and Burnsville, Minnesota. "We can't tolerate that kind of behavior. Just as a society, we just can't," Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told a live stream.
Bloomberg: Retailers Sound Alarm on Organized Theft as States Warn of Rise
Retailers say shoplifting is getting more brazen in the U.S.: A California Nordstrom store was recently hit by a flash mob of more than 80 people who made off with designer goods, while more than a dozen people pilfered from a Louis Vuitton location in a suburb of Chicago.
Epoch Times: Weekend String of Organized Retail Crime Strikes Bay Area Before Thanksgiving
Jason Brewer, executive vice president of communications at Retail Industry Leaders Association, told NTD the rise in organized retail crime is nationwide. A lot of the stolen goods are sold online, he added. "Unfortunately, it’s become very easy to build a business model selling stolen goods online. And we’ve got to have better transparency in a lot of these online marketplaces, Amazon and Facebook. So you can’t hide behind a fake screen name and sell stolen products. Right now, it’s too easy to sell a stolen product online and that’s what’s driving a lot of this theft," Brewer said.
WCPO (Cincinnati, OH): Here's how holiday shoplifting season may be leading to higher prices this season
"What we’re seeing today are people who are essentially building a business model, stealing from local retailers and reselling those products quickly and rather anonymously online," said Jason Brewer, senior executive vice president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a Washington, D.C. -based trade group whose board includes Kroger Co. CEO Rodney McMullen. The group’s study estimates Ohio lost $2.1 billion to organized theft, while Indiana lost $1.8 billion and Kentucky, $727 million.
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.
Discover More About the Coalition
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