I’ve been covering the retail industry for a long time now, but just had my first truly intensive lesson on Organized Retail Crime (ORC) and its effect on the industry — and economy — as whole. I admit that at first I wasn’t fully engaged when Tony Sheppard, National Manager of Organized Retail Crime for CVS Health, stepped onto the stage at a recent event. But Sheppard’s enthusiasm for his job — and his dedication to putting a stop to this rampant criminal activity — grabbed my attention.
The most important lesson I learned from the talk is that even if your business is not directly affected by ORC activities, the significant amount of loss from these crimes can have an indirect effect on business and the economy as a whole. Besides hitting the bottom line of affected retailers and raising the cost of legitimate goods for consumers, the diversion of sales tax revenues cheats cash-strapped local and state governments.