“NRF Reports Retail Shrink Nearly a $100B Problem” by Daniel Inman via National Retail Federation

“NRF Reports Retail Shrink Nearly a $100B Problem” by Daniel Inman via National Retail Federation

WASHINGTON – Retail shrink, when taken as a percentage of total retail sales in 2021, accounted for $94.5 billion in losses last year, up from $90.8 billion in 2020, according to the 2022 National Retail Security Survey released today by the National Retail Federation. Organized retail crime (ORC), a critical component of that shrink, is a growing challenge both for retailers and the industry at large. “The factors contributing to retail shrink have multiplied in recent years, and ORC is a burgeoning threat within the retail industry,” NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “These highly sophisticated criminal rings jeopardize employee and customer safety and disrupt store operations. Retailers are bolstering security efforts to counteract these increasingly dangerous and aggressive criminal activities.”    The survey found that the average shrink rate in 2021 was 1.44%, a slight decrease from the last two years but comparable to the five-year average of 1.5%. The majority of retailers report that in-store, ecommerce and omnichannel fraud have risen. Violence is a growing area of concern and retailers are prioritizing addressing guest-on-associate violence, external theft and ORC. The COVID-19 pandemic created more challenges for retailers. A large majority (87.3%) of respondents said the pandemic resulted in an increase in overall risk for their organization. Retailers specifically cited an increase in violence (89.3%), shoplifting (73.2%), ORC and employee theft (tied at 71.4%) as a result of the pandemic. Retailers reported a 26.5% increase in ORC, on average. Even more alarming, the vast majority (81.2%) said the violence and aggression associated with ORC increased in the past year. Research shows that ORC groups...