Retailers lost $112B in 2022 because of “unprecedented levels” of THEFT, causing stores to take drastic measures
10/04/2023 // Olivia Cook // Views

Retailers across the nation faced a "dramatic jump in financial losses" – $112.1 billion in 2022 that is up from $93.9 billion in 2021 and $90.8 billion in 2020 – due to unprecedented levels of organized retail crime, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

NRF data shows the hardest hit last year were retailers within metros, including Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle. (Related: BAD APPLE: NYC shoplifting reports hit record levels for second straight year.)

"Retailers are seeing unprecedented levels of theft coupled with rampant crime in their stores, and the situation is not only becoming more dire but continually threatening the safety of the workers and shoppers," warned NRF Vice President for Asset Protection and Retail Operations David Johnston in a statement.

Echoing Johnson's concerns, big-box stores have started collaborating and working with law enforcement, legislators and other retail industry partners to advocate public policy solutions and discuss more effective, realistic and workable countermeasures that will not result to price hikes or store closures.

Anti-theft measures implemented by big-box stores

Insider reporters Ben Tobin and Dominic Reuter visited some big-box stores in the Midwest to see how they are tackling the retail industry’s willful shoplifting epidemic.

Other retail establishments and theft prevention experts have also shared measures that could be taken or that they have already taken to counter their past vulnerabilities.

Security cameras – Many stores have started installing more security cameras to watch every aisle, corner and nook in addition to surveillance "lot cops" in parking lots.

Signs – Stores have put up signs warning customers that there are "Security cameras in use," "These premises are protected with video surveillance," "Shoplifters will be prosecuted" and "Reducing theft helps us all by keeping prices low" in strategic locations.

Lock-and-key – Several stores have secured high-value items and other merchandise prone to shoplifting behind glass doors, locked cases and/or plastic boxes that require the help of store employees to retrieve.

Spider wrap alarms – Stores have also resorted to covering items throughout the store with spider wrap alarms that sound off once an item is pilfered.

Cyber defense security – Aside from using traditional cyber defense technologies, stores have also bolstered their cyber defense by strengthening and upgrading authentication, access control, information encryption, intrusion detection systems, vulnerability scanning and virus protection.

Many stores have also begun taking advantage of some of the most popular and effective technology options, such as:

  • RFID or radio frequency identification tags, which are placed on applicable merchandise and are only removed following completed sale transactions. If they are not removed, these tags sound an alarm upon exit from the store.
  • Point of sale activation (POSA), which require certain products to be scanned at the cash register for gift cards to be activated or electronics to be activated.
  • Bells that signal entry and exit, which are ideal for smaller stores.

Store layout – Some stores have opted to arrange their layouts to ensure the checkout area is by the exit rather than at the back.

Additional workforce – Many stores are now hiring more employees so they can:

  • Assign extra security at exits, e.g., a security guard or two to mark and check store receipts. This not only discourages retail theft but also helps prevent accidental overcharges or missing already charged items.
  • Employ "greeters," which not only enhances customer experience but also lets people who enter the store know someone is aware of their presence. They can also do double duty and provide customer service assistance.

Training on de-escalation strategies – Some stores now provide regular training for store leaders, key employees and security team members so they can protect themselves or take individuals down before agitation evolves into violence.

Read more stories about the rise in crime and organized retail theft in America at

Watch the following video about how Shoplifting is skyrocketing across America.

This video is from the Dr. William Mount channel on

More related stories:

Doug Casey on rising crime, legalized shoplifting and other disturbing trends in US cities.

Big box stores closing down due to rising RETAIL THEFT.

Walmart CEO: Rampant organized shoplifting could lead to price hikes, store closures.

Sources include:

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