Retail theft is on the rise, with “shrinkage” amounting to $94.5 billion in losses in 2022 alone, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). And the perpetrators are no longer just petty thieves in it for personal gain. A recent study by the group suggests the theft is due increasingly to organized retail crime (ORC) rings.
Now retailers and their security partners are fighting back by building an arsenal of high-tech tools, including radio-frequency identification (RFID) and RF scanners, and internet of things (IoT) networks. To that end, Philadelphia-based Checkpoint Systems Inc. recently acquired the Danish firm Alert Systems in order to expand its portfolio of anti-theft solutions to include metal and magnet detectors.
Together, the partners plan to help their customers—such as supermarkets, fashion stores, pharmacies, and other retail outlets—identify the tools and techniques used by criminals so they can stop them in their tracks. According to Checkpoint President Ben Lilienthal, these tools include booster bags (handmade containers lined with foil used to block RF scanners) and detachers (magnets used to detach security tags).“Organized retail crime (ORC) is increasing globally; in the U.S. alone, retailers saw a 26.5% increase in incidents in 2021 and shrinkage represented nearly $100 billion in losses in 2022. This is due to criminals using increasingly advanced methods of avoiding detection, some of which can defeat traditional EAS (electronic article surveillance) anti-theft solutions,” Lilienthal said in a release. “By providing retailers with more information regarding when and where ORC threats are entering a store, our new solutions will help retailers drive down the ever-increasing prevalence of gang-related crime.”
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