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Retail security crisis: Insights from NRF’s 2023 survey

Blog
Date: Oct 24 2023
Read Time: 4 minutes

Retail crime, violence, and theft are posing significant challenges to the retail industry.

The retail industry is facing an unprecedented wave of challenges, from rampant crime and violence to relentless theft. Amidst these challenges, The National Retail Federation’s 2023 Retail Security Survey provides valuable insights into the present state of national retail security and the issue we are facing with organized retail crime.

Drawing upon the input of retailers from across the country, this extensive report paints a vivid picture of the security challenges and prevailing trends within the industry.

Violence and the threat of violence associated with theft are top concerns for retailers, with shoplifters becoming more aggressive. Organized retail crime (ORC) offenders have also become more violent. In addition to in-person crimes, retailers are reporting increased incidents of e-commerce fraud, phone scams, delivery fraud, and return fraud.

To combat these issues, retailers are investing in personnel, technology, and law enforcement partnerships. Some have even been forced to take drastic actions, such as reducing operating hours, altering product availability, or closing stores. The NRF has advocated for legislative measures to address these challenges, including the INFORM Consumers Act to bring transparency to online marketplaces and the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act to combat ORC more effectively.

Key Takeaways from the survey:

Retail shrink, driven primarily by theft, increased to 1.6% in fiscal year 2022, resulting in $112.1 billion in losses, posing a significant financial challenge to the industry. While retail shrink encompasses a variety of loss factors, according to the survey, it’s predominantly fueled by theft, including both internal and external sources. An astounding 65% of retailers’ shrinkage can be attributed to theft, with external theft, including ORC, contributing an average 36% to overall loss.

Retailers are increasingly concerned about violence and the threat of violence associated with theft, with aggressive shoplifting incidents on the rise.

Organized retail crime is another area of concern, with ORC offenders becoming more violent, prompting the need for stronger measures to combat this type of crime. 88% of retailers report that shoplifters are somewhat more or much more aggressive and violent.

Retailers are also grappling with various forms of fraud, including e-commerce fraud, phone scams, and return fraud, making it necessary to invest in personnel, technology, and law enforcement partnerships to mitigate these issues. Some have had to take drastic actions like reducing operating hours and altering product availability.

The NRF is actively advocating for legislative measures to address these challenges, emphasizing the importance of transparency in online marketplaces and more effective strategies to combat organized retail crime.

Adopting Cutting-Edge Strategies and Solutions

With every problem, there is a solution and loss prevention teams across the globe are actively pursuing cutting-edge solutions designed to detect, deter, prevent, or minimize losses.

In response, 53% of those surveyed have taken measures to intensify their training initiatives related to employee workplace violence. In an environment where violence stands as one of the most substantial threats, this commitment to readiness underscores the industry’s unwavering dedication to its workforce’s safety.

54% of retailers have increased their investment in technology and software solutions, while an additional 48% have dedicated more funds to enhance their equipment arsenal for loss prevention and security to combat criminal activities. 

Furthermore, in the last year, 54% of retailers have increased their investment in technology and software solutions, while an additional 48% have dedicated more funds to enhance their equipment arsenal for loss prevention and security to combat criminal activities.

Retailers are looking for the tools and solutions to tackle these pressing challenges head-on. InVue, a leader in the field of retail security, offers a range of innovative products and solutions designed to safeguard your business against theft, violence, and the myriad of security threats outlined in the NRF’s 2023 Retail Security Survey.

Take a closer look at how InVue security products can be a vital part of your retail strategy to protect your business and assets in this evolving retail landscape.

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