There's been a lot of buzz on LP-related websites and social networks lately about ABC News' recent airing of two segments on organized retail crime. One segment was on Nightline, the other, very similar, was on ABC's evening news program.
"There's even an acronym for it," the reporter exclaims. "ORC." Tide, baby formula, razor blades and milk are among the targets. The reporter asks, incredulously, "Milk?"
Well, yeah. (I wanted to write here, "Well, duh!" But I'm too professional for that.)
Organized Retail Crime.com says the mainstream news reports go to show "how big a story ORC has become." That's true, I guess. But where have the media been up until now? Hasn't ORC been a huge issue for years now? The National Retail Federation has been surveying retailers about ORC for more than eight years. In 2007—six years ago—79 percent of retailers surveyed said they had been victims of ORC in the past 12 months, for example.
States, even in the past few months, are increasingly considering anti-ORC legislation that would increase penalties for those involved. Hundreds of anti-ORC associations have been established and are still popping up around the country—in big towns and in small. ORC statistics are readily available, such as the $30 billion in losses retailers suffer annually because of it, not to mention the resulting lost tax revenue to states. So you might think this would have become more of a major mainstream issue before now.
Still, we'll be happy that ORC—and the work to combat it—is finally getting the attention it deserves, not just for consumer awareness, but to put a few ideas in would-be ORC participants' heads, too. Hint: There are cameras out there, guys.
"With today's technology I can have your face pretty much throughout the country in less than 10 minutes," Jerry Briggs, director of Walgreens' Organized Retail Crime Division, said in one of the newscasts.
And, with the number of ORC networks available today, it's more likely than ever the criminals will be identified.
The ABC shows also broadcast a bust at an L.A. store that exclusively sold ORC goods. Good to get those successes out there.
I'm not just an editor involved in the security industry. I'm also a shopper who doesn't want to pay for these criminals' exploits.
Good luck in your efforts, anti-ORC professionals.