A drastic rise in theft by sophisticated criminal networks is prompting retailers to commit more resources to combat losses estimated at $1 billion over the last twelve months. According to a December 2020 National Retail Federation (NRF) survey, Organized Retail Crime is a greater concern for retailers than ever before. This is forcing retailers to fight back and stay a step ahead utilizing both new and old technologies to prevent loss.
The increasing preference among all consumers during the pandemic is buying products online and then returning the items in store. Organized criminals are exploiting this trend as an opportunity for gift card fraud. These “boosters” steal merchandise and return it to the store for credit or gift cards, and then sell the merchandise or cards to secondary market buyers for cash. Experienced shoplifters often steal a mix of valuable, high-end products (designer clothing, handbags, jeans, expensive liquor and electronics) with cheaper but easier to fence everyday necessities (razors, deodorant, infant formula, laundry detergent, pain killers and allergy medications).
Many retailers plan to defend against these risk by reinforcing solid security practices using a holistic, layered approach including advanced technologies.
Live, customer-visible video monitors placed in the store are being installed more often by retailers as a way to deter shoplifters.
Perimeter lighting and other exterior physical barriers like roll downs similar to garage doors or bolsters offer an added layer of security by preventing vehicles from ramming through storefronts, a tactic employed by gangs in smash-and-grab robberies
Analytic software can help retailers turn data into action by pinpointing when and where theft is occurring.
Specialty Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags can help protect items in each category from security threats.