Retail Security Threats Rise Due To COVID-10, NRF Says
August 22, 21
Organized retail crime hasand many other security issues evolved in 2020, with most retailers attributeis lying increased criminal activity to the pandemic, according to a National Retail Federation report.
“Retailers have continuously pivoted throughout the pandemic to ensure that their employees can work in a safe environment and that their customers can shop safely, whether in stores, online orr by means such as online purchase, in-store collection “, the NRF said in his 2021 Retail Safety Survey. “But new ways of shopping have also opened up new avenues for criminal activity. As retailers adjust to deal with these new security threats, the need for federal support is even greater for them. fight against these dangerous and harmful activities. ” The NRF did not refer to any specific sector in its report.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the risk environment for retailers on several fronts. While more than two-thirds (69%) said the pandemic had resulted in an increase in the overall risk to their organization, respondents specifically mentioned the impact on workplace violence (61%) and organized crime retailing. retail (57%)., it continued.
Mandatory store closings and other buying restrictions that have occurred throughout 2020 have had an impact on where fraudulent activity has taken place. More than a third (39%) of those surveyed said they saw the biggest increase in fraud in multi-channel sales channels such as online shopping and in-store pickup, up from 19% the previous year. In contrast, only 28% said the biggest increase in fraud came from in-store sales alone, up from 49% the year before. The percentageage of those who reported online-only sales fraud remained stable.
The survey found that while the overall shrinkage rate has remained relatively stable compared to 2019, it remains above the average for the past five years. Respondents reported an average shrinkage rate of 1.6%, unchanged from last year’s peak.
Apprehensions and lawsuits against dishonest employees are down from last year and the five-year average. However, the cost per dishonest employee case is increasing. Half (50%) of respondents reported an average dollar loss of at least $ 1,000, up from 29% in 2019.
What is perhaps more concerning is the fact that a majority of retailers (65%) agree that Organized Retail Crime (ORC) gangs are showing higher levels of aggression and violence than in the previous year. Retailers cited as the main reasons for increased ORC activity.
ORC gangs target a variety of stolen items, including branded clothing (reported by 22 percent of retail respondents), laundry detergent (17 percent), branded handbags, anti-drug drugs. allergies, razors and premium alcohol (tied at 15 percent each), pain relievers (13%) and infant formula and teeth whitening strips (tied at 11% each).
The top five cities for the ORC in the past year were, in order, Los Angeles, San Francisco / Oakland, Chicago, New York and Miami.
As new threats emerge, retailers are investing in more resources to protect their customers, employees and operations. Half (53%) of retailers said their companies are allocating additional technology resources and 50% said they are allocating additional capital specific to LP equipment. Compared to recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of people stating that they will devote additional staff resources.
With the size and scope of these threats continuing to grow, it’s clear that retailers need the support of additional external resources, including lawmakers and law enforcement. A large majority of respondents (78%) believe that a federal CRO law is needed to effectively address these issues. Otherwise, retailers must deal with crimes that are often entangled between a patchwork of local jurisdictions.
The 2021 Retail Security Survey was conducted online with loss prevention and asset protection professionals in the retail industry.