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).
Organized retail crime (ORC) rings have targeted jewelers, pharmacies, high-end retailers, convenience stores, hardware stores, cannabis dispensaries, and other retailers. Could your business fall victim to an organized retail crime incident?
“Loss prevention” isn’t always a guaranteed outcome when it comes to 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.
Washington Retail (WR) is the primary advocacy group for retailers across the state and is committed to providing support to Washington State retailers, including WR members and the industry as a whole. With the swell of retail thefts and the growing persistence of organized retail crime, WR stands ready to provide retailers with tools to protect their employees and customers while helping to safeguard their place of business.
WR addresses retail crime on several fronts, most importantly as advocates for good policy that supports public and employee safety. While laws can be a deterrent, unfortunately, they don’t guarantee that crimes will not happen in retail establishments. With this in mind, WR is making its new essential resource guide, Organized Retail Theft: Insights for Retailers, available to all retail businesses in Washington State at no cost.
This new resource is intended to help retailers develop strategies in their response to theft and organized retail crime, including specific recommendations when creating retail crime policies and protocols of their own. The guide offers four crucial components on how businesses can:
- PREPARE— Recognize the signs that their business is being surveilled for a potential retail crime.
- PREVENT— Implement best practices to discourage would-be thieves from targeting their business.
- PROTECT— Make their retail establishments safe for their customers and employees. Protection of business assets and inventory is important, but protecting customers and workers is essential.
- POST-CRIME— Know what to do in the aftermath of a retail crime event.