retail crime (ORC) has been a serious concern for retailers for many
years—but the problem isn’t going away. Recent data from the National
Retail Federation puts the loss from ORC in 2017 at over $726,351 per $1
billion in sales, a significant increase over 2016. But what’s causing
Garett Seivold, contributing writer, takes a closer look at this question in the cover story for the December issue of LPM Online. The article delves into the possible reasons behind the increase in ORC activity and aggression:
As for what’s driving the increase, ORC investigators on
the front line point the finger at problems well beyond a store’s front
door. “It’s drugs,” said Mike Powell, an ORC investigator for Kroger.
“There is no doubt the oxy epidemic is driving ORC business.” Nathan
Bandaries, an organized retail crime manager at Albertsons, agrees.
“Ninety percent of the boosters we catch are on drugs. They wake up
desperate because they only have a matter of hours to ‘get well’—to go
steal and navigate to their dealers. It’s a cycle that repeats itself,
day after day,” said Bandaries.
That desperation may partly be behind the increase in aggression that
retailers described in the NRF survey. Twenty-seven percent said ORC
thieves exhibited “much more” aggression and violence over the last
twelve months; 21 percent said “somewhat more.” Moraca explained, “More
and more, these criminals are coming in and menacing employees, pushing
and shoving customers, shouting at everyone to get down on the floor,
and those kinds of things. We haven’t seen this type of violence in a
Read what investigators on the front line have to say about current trends affecting retail in “ORC is Worrisome, Worsening…And at Risk of Being Ignored?”
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