CEOs of Target, Best Buy, CVS, and Other Retail Chains Call on Congress for Help Amid Rising Crime

The group called on Congress to pass legislation that would deter criminals from easily reselling stolen goods, especially online.

“As millions of Americans have undoubtedly seen on the news in recent weeks and months, retail establishments of all kinds have seen a significant increase in organized crime in communities across the country,” indicates the letter, sent by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

Criminals “are capitalizing on the anonymity of the Internet and the failure of some marketplaces to verify their sellers,” the retailers said. As a result, retailers are the target of an increase in theft.

“In today’s environment, criminal networks and unscrupulous businesses have exploited a system that protects their anonymity to sell dangerous, stolen or counterfeit products with little legal recourse,” added the RILA letter, which was also signed. by the CEOs of General dollar (DG), Levi Strauss (LEVI), Kroger Cie (KR). and Footlocker.

The group urged Congress to pass a bill that would make it easier for consumers to identify who they’re buying from and harder for criminals to hide behind false identities when trying to sell stolen goods online.

San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago are among the cities that have seen a wave of recent mob attacks targeting some high-end stores such as Nordstrom and Louis Vuitton.

Several Best Buy outlets in Minnesota were also looted during Black Friday.

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said theft is a growing problem and the company is implementing additional security measures to protect employees and buyers.

“It’s traumatic for our associates and unacceptable,” Barry said on a recent call with analysts. “We are doing everything we can to try to create [an] environment as safe as possible. “

The retail industry is struggling to cope with the escalation of organized theft. A 2020 survey of 61 retailers by the National Retail Federation, the industry’s largest trade group, found organized retail theft jumped nearly 60% from 2015 and costs an average of 719,548 $ to stores for $ 1 billion in sales.

Industry experts say store theft is now an acute problem and is getting worse.

“Gangs are much more dangerous for retailers and for customers who shop in stores,” said Neil Saunders, retail analyst and managing director of GlobalData Retail. “The problem is, while store security and associates can scold shoplifters, they aren’t able to do much against gangs because they’re outnumbered. “

— If you are a retail employee who witnessed a recent armed robbery in your store and are concerned for your personal safety, please share your story here: [email protected] com.

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