NRF Retracts Claim that Organized Retail Crime Accounted for ‘Nearly Half’ of Retail Shrink

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has updated a report that had attributed “nearly half” of 2021’s $94.5 billion in retail shrink to organized retail crime, saying the data point was part of two-year-old testimony to a U.S. Senate committee by Ben Dugan, former President of the Organized Retail Crime Resource Center.

The NRF report was created with risk advisory firm K2 Integrity, and the statement about organized retail crime’s impact on shrink “was an inference made by the K2 analyst linking the results of the NRF NRSS survey from 2021 and Ben Dugan’s 2021 Senate testimony,” according to an NRF spokesperson. The report was updated in late November 2023.

“We stand behind the widely understood fact that organized retail crime is a serious problem impacting retailers of all sizes and communities across our nation,” said the NRF spokesperson in comments provided to Retail TouchPoints. “At the same time, we recognize the challenges the retail industry and law enforcement have with gathering and analyzing an accurate and agreed-upon set of data to measure the number of incidents in communities across the country. Retailers and law enforcement agencies continue to experience daily incidents of theft, partner in large-scale investigations and report recoveries of stolen retail goods into the millions of dollars.”

Retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lowe’s and Target have been discussing the impact of theft and other safety issues on their bottom lines, with the latter retailer citing these problems in its September 2023 decision to close nine stores in four states.


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