More than half (55%) of consumers believe retail crimes such as shoplifting and looting have increased in their community since the onset of the pandemic, according to a survey released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
The survey, in which NRF asked consumers a series of questions relating to crime, retail theft, and organized retail crime (ORC), found that this number goes up to 57% for consumers who live in suburban areas.
Other key findings in the survey include:
- Nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers are concerned about gang-led shoplifting in their community. This goes up to 75% among consumers who live in urban communities.
- Three-quarters (75%) of consumers have personally shopped in stores where products were kept in locked cabinets to avoid theft.
- 79% of consumers believe retail theft impacts the price of goods that they buy.
- Half (51%) say law enforcement and the courts are too lenient on those who steal from stores.
NRF has spearheaded industry efforts for policy reform on ORC legislation, including the INFORM Act, which was passed in December 2022 and will require online marketplaces to verify the identities of high-volume third-party sellers.
NRF has also launched a grassroots campaign in support of the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act, legislation that would equip law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools and resources to effectively address this issue.
The survey results were released in advance of NRF PROTECT, where more than 2,000 retail professionals will convene today in Grapevine, Texas, to examine the loss prevention community’s most prominent issues, including ORC.
The survey of 5,031 US consumers was conducted May 16–24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.