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Organized retail crime

Organized retail crime (ORC) is the association of two or more people with the intent to acquire substantial quantities of retail goods using methods such as fraud or theft (or both) and has become one of the major sources of loss for retailers today.

What is organized retail crime?

Organized retail crime (ORC) is when two or more people are involved in a criminal plan to acquire goods from a retail business through illegal methods. ORC is having a major impact on businesses today. Because of this, many businesses are beginning to put much of the focus of their loss prevention initiatives on ORC prevention.

Annually, organized retail crime is the cause for billions of dollars in losses, and there are many methods undertaken by companies to reduce this type of shrinkage.

While not all shrinkage is theft, organized retail crime is something that companies must be very careful about. In general, ORC will target goods that are in high demand and can be easily converted into cash at high volume. The impression that some may have is that this means the theft of expensive electronics. However, anything from baby formula to power tools has been targeted by organized retail crime.

As mentioned above, ORC groups favour products that can be sold quickly and converted to cash. While an individual looking to steal for personal use might prefer a big screen TV or computer, these are much harder to sell than the smaller items like diapers and cigarettes preferred by ORC gangs. These smaller ticket items are also far more difficult to track, are easier to conceal during the theft, and have a broader market that criminals can sell to.

Why is organized retail crime important?

Organized retail crime is important because of the amount of money that it costs companies every year. Because ORC affects a multitude of companies, and there is no company that is left untouched, this is an issue that must be addressed by every retail business, regardless of the products they are selling.