Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is an all-too-real issue for retailers, brands, and businesses in every niche, everywhere. There are countless challenges to curbing ORC and the sky-high losses that ensue. But one of the most significant hurdles standing between brands and effective, efficient handling? The fact that, often, ORC starts from the inside. And, in many cases, that’s the last place retailers look or want to look.
The Booster/Employee Connection
It’s, unfortunately, all too common for ORC collusion to happen between boosters and employees. Even loyal, long-standing employees can succumb to the pressure and financial incentives ORC rings provide — nearly half of employees have stolen from work though, of course, not all are involved in extensive ORC dealings.
Regardless, though, some ORC organizations are anchored in this internal access. By having participants at the store level, thieves can easily access products and goods, while helping facilitate a look-the-other-way environment that makes shoplifting simpler and more streamlined. For the retailer, this presents another challenging layer — the people tasked explicitly with maintaining brand integrity and, even, in-store safety and security are the ones driving the deception.
Overcoming ORC Threats
Again, there’s no surefire way to prevent all store-level crimes, however, there are ways to curb some of these challenges. For starters, keep your ear to the ground and stay on top of employee chatter. If you suspect an issue, don’t be afraid to employ some level of surveillance, whether it’s over employees, shoppers or both. Spot someone colluding with boosters? You likely have a solid case on your hands.
Despite the industry’s best efforts, ORC isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Your job? Stay ahead of the curve and the criminals. Start by reviewing your existing security systems in place. If you don’t have an Assets Protection/Loss Prevention department, contact your nearest police station, or consider tapping a local detective who has a good sense of ORC happenings in your immediate market. Beyond that, don’t be surprised to learn boosters are in and out of your store daily — it’s the reality, but it doesn’t mean you have to take it lying down.
Another great way to stay ahead of the criminals is to improve you secure merchandise at the cabinet level. With a commercial-grade access control system, valuable products and other mission-critical assets are protected from internal and external threats. Consider these solutions your completely turnkey and completely invisible layer of security and support, curbing ORC cliques and even isolated incidents of employee theft and smash-and-grabs.
Over 66.5 percent of shrinkage in retail environments comes from theft — it’s staggering but true. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, “Shoplifters say they are caught an average of only once in every 48 times they steal.” Keep that in mind next time you walk your sales floor. If you can think like a booster and use your insights and Intel to close any gaps that exist, you’ll be well-positioned to curb your losses starting now.
For more on how to protect your business with a Senseon system, visit our retail market page to download a brochure.