WR released its updated Guide to Navigating Public Safety & Retail Crime resource book this week and is making it available for download free of charge to all retailers in Washington State.
While retail store thefts continue to increase, smaller businesses often lack the budget for a loss prevention team. Even with sophisticated security systems and personnel, large stores such as Lowes and Home Depot continue to lose millions of dollars annually. These losses are primarily from organized retail crime (ORC) rings with sophisticated systems of theft and online sales, which often fund drug operations, weapons and human trafficking, and illicit materials involving children.
As an association, WR generally provides educational resources and focuses on policies prioritizing its members. In this case, WR is making a significant exception, and for a good reason.
According to the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Washington State experienced over $2.7 billion in retail theft in 2021, the second highest in the nation per capita. “Large companies with multiple stores can absorb losses for the most part. For a small business owner with narrow margins who is working hard to provide for their family, several thefts might mean taking food off the dinner table,” said Renée Sunde, President and CEO of WR. “As stewards of Washington state’s retailers, we must step forward and provide tools that help all retailers in our state.”