Clothing, health and beauty, electronics/home appliances, accessories, footwear, home textiles, housewares and home improvement were the top categories targeted by organized crime groups in retail, according to the survey.
Retailers face security-related challenges on many fronts. Most of the retailers surveyed reported an increase in fraud in-store, in e-commerce and across all channels.
The US National Retail Federation’s national security survey this year has found an increase in the cost of retail theft, with retail sales accounting for $94.5 billion in losses last year — up from $90.8 billion last year Year 2020. The five cities most affected by organized retail crime in 2021 were Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland, New York City, Houston and Miami.
The majority of respondents also reported that guest-on-employee violence, external theft, organized retail crime (ORC), and cybercrime have become higher priorities for their organizations.
Challenges such as labor shortages, employee retention and hiring, and issues related to masking and maintaining COVID precautions have contributed to risks of violence and hostility, according to the NRF survey.
The current climate of active attackers and gun violence increases retailers’ concerns about employee and customer safety.
Almost half (44.5 percent) of the surveyed retailers said they would invest in loss prevention. About 60 percent said they are increasing their technology budget, and 52.4 percent of respondents said they are allocating more funds to their capital and equipment budgets, according to the report.
US retailers devote significant resources to preventing harassment of their employees, guests and organizations. They are increasing their budgets for loss prevention and technology, and 52.4 percent are increasing budgets specifically for capital and equipment.
Retailers are implementing a variety of technological solutions, from artificial intelligence-based video analytics at the point of sale/self-checkout to self-service lockers, autonomous security robots and license plate recognition.
Additionally, nearly a third of retailers surveyed have established a dedicated ORC team, and retailers with such teams face greater fears, prosecutions and civil claims, on average, the survey report added.
Fiber2Fashion Newsdesk (DS)