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Organized Retail Theft

Organized retail theft rates have significantly spiked and stolen goods are passed off as legitimate merchandise to be sold in online.

Organized Retail Theft

Communities and businesses large and small across the United States are facing a significant increase in retail theft and organized retail crime that requires the swift response of policymakers.

What is organized retail theft and why does it matter?

  • $700 thousand
    Organized retail crime cost stores an average of over $700,000 per $1 billion in sales in 2020--up more than 50% in the last five years.
  • 54% of small businesses
    54% of small business owners experienced an increase in shoplifting in 2021
Rising Retail Theft: Here’s What Business Owners Need to Know

Rising Retail Theft: Here’s What Business Owners Need to Know

Communities and businesses large and small across the United States are facing a significant increase in retail theft and organized retail crime. Here's what policymakers should do.

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What can be done about organized retail theft?

  • To address this, action is needed to close the market for stolen goods, and to enable the arrest and prosecution of offenders.
  • At the federal level, Congress must act to require disclosure of high-volume third-party sellers in online marketplaces and establish transparency that will minimize such coordinated exploitation of online marketplaces through the INFORM for Consumers act. It is up to the states to define and establish appropriate thresholds for felony theft, and to criminalize organized retail theft to protect small and big businesses.
  • States should take action to aggressively prosecute organized retail theft by passing legislation to enable the aggregation and prosecution of offenses across state lines, and by establishing statewide task forces to take down organized retail theft rings.

Congress and States must act now to stop the proliferation of organized retail theft

  • Congress must pass the bipartisan Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) Consumers Act (H.R. 5502) which establishes protections on online marketplaces to prevent the sale of stolen goods.
  • States need to define the crime “organized retail theft” clearly to provide prosecutors with the tools needed to target organized theft rings.
  • States also need to adjust the thresholds for the value of goods stolen to trigger a felony charge to prevent thefts from avoiding prosecution and a heavier charge. States can further address this by-passing legislation to allow for the aggregation of a pattern of organized thefts across multiple jurisdictions over a period of time.
The Chamber is leading efforts to combat organized retail theft

The Chamber is leading efforts to combat organized retail theft

Working with Congress

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has engaged with state and local chambers to raise awareness and advocate in their respected areas. On March 29th, the Chamber sent a letter to Members of Congress and to the National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National District Attorneys Association, on retail theft and organized retail crime. 

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