Organized Shoplifting Taking Bite Out of Retailers’ Profits

By Hernan Albamonte | Philip Morris International

Originally posted on

USA-IT partner Hernan Albamonte, head of illicit trade prevention for Philip Morris International (PMI), writes on the dangers of organized retail crime (ORC) to both retailers’ profits and America’s security:

“…ORC is at an all-time high and much more dangerous criminal organizations — including terrorist cells, major drug cartels, and the mafia — are reaping the benefits.”

“ORC includes professionalized shoplifting, cargo theft, and other sorts of retail crime carried out by a criminal syndicate. Similar to other forms of illegal trade, of which these syndicates also employ — like the smuggling and selling of illicit tobacco or counterfeit goods — ORC is viewed as a high-profit, low-risk activity by perpetrators. Unfortunately, it is anything but low risk for law-abiding citizens.”

“Fortunately, state policymakers are increasingly exploring regulatory options to require online marketplaces to collect and verify third-party sellers’ information. The federal Integrity, Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM) Act is still making its way through Congress and could be another tool in the fight against criminal organizations involved in this activity.”

“While there are no simple solutions to tackling ORC, strong and dynamic public-private partnerships are a step in the right direction. By taking the fight to the criminal enterprises, we can ensure safer and stronger communities for all.”

Read more here.