It is easy for retailers to focus efforts on how to stop shoplifting in their stores but as a retail owner did you know that there are two types of shoplifting? Sensormatic hard tags will address both of these but it is important to understand the differences. There is the everyday variety or what may called the opportunist. There is the type of shoplifter who steals simply to earn money to support a drug habit or even to horde the merchandise (the kleptomaniac). Then there are the Organized Retail Crime (ORC) shoplifters. This is a different kind of shoplifter because it is not one person working alone it is a group with a leader(s) at the core. The group may do their own shoplifting or they may send others to do their stealing for them. To add another dimension to the ORC groups, when they do recruit others to steal for them it may be different people every time. Having worked as a retail Loss Prevention Associate and Manager for many years I can tell you that this makes catching these groups and stopping them extremely difficult. If catching them is going to be done it requires a coordinated effort between Loss Prevention teams and police. Where does this leave the independent retail store owner? You can’t afford a Loss Prevention team and you certainly shouldn’t be trying to apprehend a shoplifter let alone a group of shoplifters. Perhaps you don’t even think of it as a problem since this may be the first you are hearing of ORC.
Let me explain why the topic of ORC for this article came up in the first place. I came across an article on Fox Carolina, “Deputies: 3 arrested for organized retail theft in Anderson Co.”, by Savannah Sondov, Jul 19, 2018. The story tells of how the three had hired people to go into stores and steal merchandise for them. The group paid the shoplifters at a fraction of the merchandise retail value. The group then sold the merchandise at flea markets making a profit. The police recovered $121,997 in merchandise from the ring. The story reports that “retailers lost a combined $9-12 million over a five-year period due (to) the suspects buying from shoplifters.” That kind of theft means a LOT of retailers were victimized and there is no telling if the small retail stores were or were not victims as well as national chain stores. One thing is certain to me, in order to stop shoplifting by ORC’s or the everyday shoplifter stores must use Sensormatic hard tags on merchandise.
It is appropriate to discuss briefly how these tags can make an impact on theft. Sensormatic hard tags provide a deterrent against people who want to steal from your store. It makes no difference if you are attempted to put up a barrier to the opportunist shoplifters or to the crooks stealing to sell to an ORC group. One thing that the various shoplifters have in common is they don’t want to chance getting caught. These tags are designed to ensure a Sensormatic alarm pedestal will sound an alert in the event someone tries to waltz out of a store with tagged, unpaid merchandise. When shoplifters see these tags they tend to be reluctant to try to take the item. For your store it means you can effectively stop shoplifting of all types and that makes your operation more profitable.
There are going to be some readers who still don’t see Organized Retail Crime is that big a concern to them. One ORC group being caught does not appear to be reason enough to those readers to prompt them to purchase Sensormatic hard tags or the associated hardware. In part 2 of this article we will explore more about the impact of ORC on retailers and how Sensormatic can be an integral part of the success of your business.
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