Washington State experienced over $2.7 billion in retail theft in 2021, the second-highest in the nation per capita, according to the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
Law enforcement agencies in cities throughout the US have been reporting significant types of retail thefts at an increasingly alarming rate. Organized retail crime (ORC) rings have targeted jewelers, pharmacies, high-end retailers, convenience stores, hardware stores, cannabis dispensaries, and other retailers. These groups range from a handful of perpetrators in convenience stores to groups of over a hundred as “flash mobs,” descending on large stores or malls. The robberies occur day and night, with stores open or closed, but all are in and out in a matter of minutes—long gone before law enforcement can be on the scene.
“Loss prevention” isn’t always a guaranteed outcome when dealing with organized retail crime. Still, businesses can implement countermeasures and take steps to discourage criminals. More importantly, employers can prepare their workers for such an incident and put best practices in place to help keep their employees safe. With this in mind, WR has published its latest members-only resource document, Insights for Retailers on Organized Retail Theft. The document can be accessed through our member portal. If you are not yet a member of the Washington Retail Association, please contact our Director of Business Development, Terry Hopsecger at (360) 200-6453.