By: Jesse Davis West January 17, 2018

Are retail CEOs out of touch with reality when it comes to retail crime? According to NRF’s Organized Retail Crime Survey, only a little more than half (54.7%) of retailers surveyed believe that top management “understands the complexity and severity” of the issue of organized retail crime. This was a significant drop from 2016 (71.2%).  

As the leading provider of face recognition software for retailers, our team gets the opportunity to talk to retail professionals in a variety of roles. The truth is that we’ve heard more than once that high level execs don’t have enough on-the-ground-level insight into retail crime.  

Here are five key factors that retail CEOs and other top retail executives might be missing when it comes to preventing retail crime: 

There is a Link Between Retail Crime and Violence 

Picture this common scenario: a perpetrator is caught shoplifting by a loss prevention professional. The perpetrator fights back, fearing the consequences of a shoplifting conviction. In the process the loss prevention professional, the perpetrator and a random customer all get injured. Shoplifting incidents turn violent far too often. And we’ve discovered that preventing retail crime often correlates with a significant drop in violent incidents. There are several ways to deter retail criminals including hiring in-store security, using EAS tech and deploying face recognition surveillance. 

Retail Criminals are Getting More Aggressive 

Sadly, aggression from ORC gangs is on the rise. The NRF report reveals that 98.5% of retailers surveyed believe that ORC gangs are just as aggressive or more aggressive than last year. And nearly 10% more retailers stated that ORC gangs exhibited MUCH more aggression than last year. It’s therefore more important than ever to protect customers and associates from aggressive retail criminals.  

Retail Crime Can Have a Powerful Impact on a Company’s Bottom Line 

The financial impact of retail crime can be dramatic. According to NRF, ORC costs retailers an average of $726,351 for every $1 billion in sales. Depending on the area a store is located, retail crime can cost retailers far more than this. Top retail executives should be on the constant lookout for ways to prevent external shrink.  

ORC-Prevention Technology Can Offer an Amazing ROI  

Many CEOs don’t realize that Investing in ORC-prevention tech can have a powerful effect on a company’s bottom line. From working with customers at major retail chains, we’ve found that our face recognition system usually pays for itself in 4-18 months. Over 5 years, it’s quite possible to save millions of dollars in merchandise from being stolen. Our retail customers are already experiencing a dramatic return on their investment.

Face Recognition for Retail is on an “Inevitable” Path to Adoption 

According to The D&D Daily’s editor Gus Downing, face recognition is now on an “inevitable path to retail adoption.” Soon, this technology will be as prevalent in major retail stores as traditional surveillance is today. One of the reasons why is because the public accepts that when used to deter shoplifting, face recognition doesn’t violate their privacy. According to a poll in retail wire, 60% of people surveyed disagree or strongly disagree that face recognition, when used to deter shoplifting, raises the same privacy concerns as it does when used for marketing.