The National Retail Federation has rejected claims in an April report that said organized retail crime was responsible for nearly half of all inventory losses in 2021.
The update, made on November 29, comes as stores have raised concerns about an increase in retail theft. But was all the focus more on theft?
NRF spokeswoman Mary McGinty said the lobbying group stands behind the fact that organized retail crime is “a serious problem affecting retailers of all sizes and communities” but called for the industry and law enforcement to gather and analyze accurate data. Recognizes the challenges of doing.
Organized retail crime statistics removed from NRF report
The updated NRF report, which was conducted in partnership with global risk advisory firm K2 Integrity, removes part of the line that claims nearly half of the total annual retail shrinkage — an industry term for missing inventory — is “organized. Was responsible for “retail crime”. A form of retail theft in which several people coordinate to steal products in order to resell them for profit.
McGinty said the error arose from linking a 2021 NRF survey by K2 Integrity analyst, which found that theft resulted in $94.5 billion worth of losses, Ben Ben, former president of the advocacy group Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail (CLEAR) During a quote from Dugan’s 2021 Senate testimony, he said organized retail crime costs retailers $45 billion annually.
According to the NRF, the problem is that Dugan was referring to figures for the total cost of shrinkage in 2015, not dollars lost to organized retail crime in 2021. (In addition to theft, shrinkage also accounts for inventory losses from broken items, administrative errors and other factors.)
McGuinty said the trade group had updated its report “based on Dugan’s recent statements,” acknowledging that he was referring to a 2016 NRF report that found the U.S. retail economy declined in 2015. The cost was $45.2 billion.
CLEAR said it stands by its estimate that organized retail crime causes stores $45 billion in inventory losses each year, or 40% to 60% of total retail losses. (By comparison, a September NRF report says both internal and external theft is responsible for about a 65% shrinkage in fiscal year 2022.)
“This estimate is based on loss data collected directly from retailers and federal and state law enforcement agencies involved in the difficult work of defining and dismantling the massive criminal networks targeting our communities,” CLEAR’s statement said. was based on.”
K2 Integrity did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
what does the data say
Retail crime data is extremely blurry. Most law enforcement agencies do not disclose organized retail crime in their crime data, and the shoplifting data we do have is often self-reported.
Recent research shows that while retail theft has increased in some markets, it has actually declined in others.
Is shopkeeping increasing?Retail data shows decline in many cities after pandemic
The Council on Criminal Justice found that shoplifting trends in 24 cities have been mixed since 2019, with reports rising in places like New York and Los Angeles but declining in most tracked cities, including Denver, San Francisco and Minneapolis. Is. Additionally, the study notes that most shoplifting incidents are not committed by gangs, despite the fact that incidents of robbery and snatching make headlines.
An October note led by William Blair analyst Dylan Cardon said, “While thefts are likely to increase, companies may also use the opportunity to deflect attention from margin headwinds in the form of higher promotions and weaker inventory management in recent quarters.” Is doing.”