Organized retail crime (ORC) is a growing challenge for retailers. For every $1 billion in sales, the retail sector loses $777,877 as a result of ORC. That’s a 7% increase compared to 2017.
ORC is two or more individuals illegally obtaining large quantities of merchandise through fraud or theft. For example, shoplifters will enter a store in a group of four. Two will distract the employees, while the other two will steal as much merchandise as they can before rushing out the door. Once they have the merchandise, they then sell the stolen goods through:
- Check cashing businesses.
- Flea markets.
- Legitimate storefronts.
- Local convenience stores.
- Online marketplaces created by criminals.
- Pawn shops.
- Websites like eBay and Craigslist.
The ultimate goal of ORC is to turn the stolen merchandise into financial gain rather than personal use. Whether it’s clothes, diapers, canned foods or electronics, these criminals sell the stolen items for less and make 100% profit.
So, how can you combat ORC and keep your business from being a target? Below we list four business security solutions and how they can help you avoid ORC.
1. Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS)
Electronic article surveillance (EAS) is an anti-shoplifting system powered by tags attached to clothing and merchandise. An employee must remove or deactivate the tag after purchase. If an EAS tag leaves the store without being removed, an alarm sounds and the store owner is alerted immediately.
ORC rings sometimes use electronic jammers or aluminum-lined bags to overwhelm the EAS system. When investing in EAS, ensure the system includes anti-jamming technology.
2. Video Surveillance
With a video surveillance system, retailers can monitor all areas of their store, in real time, and receive instant alerts when unusual activity is detected. When installing surveillance cameras throughout your store, consider placing them:
- Behind cash registers.
- Inside inventory or storage rooms.
- Near all entrances and exits.
- In parking lots.
3. Monitored Alarms
It only takes criminals a few minutes to burglarize a store. Stay connected to your store by installing monitored alarms. These devices are designed to detect an open door, broken window or motion. Once activated, an audible alarm sounds to ward off intruders. At the same time, an alert is sent to your mobile device as well as the monitoring center, which then dispatches the proper authorities.
4. Access Control
Retail criminals often break into stores through unlocked or unsecured doors, but they sometimes get inside help from employees who leave doors open or lend keys.
To prevent employee-assisted ORC, consider implementing access control. Access control technology allows retailers to limit who has admittance to areas of your store. By assigning employees unique codes, you’ll know when members of your staff arrive to work and what areas they access at any time. For example, if merchandise is missing from the stock room, time logs can show which employees were in that room and when. This can help you identify the culprit.
Although ORC is a growing challenge for retailers, it can be prevented. Use these four tips to prevent ORC at your retail store and always contact a trusted security expert for proper security system setup and installation.