The Surprising Impacts of Retail Crime
Organized retail crime (ORC) is on the rise in the United States, and it is impacting inflation, store employees, and customers alike.
So, what is retail crime? How does ORC impact inflation? What should I do if I was injured at a store – either directly or indirectly – due to organized retail crime? Read on to learn more about the surprising impacts of retail crime and what to do if you find yourself a victim.
If you have been injured at a shopping center, contact a mall or retail crime rights lawyer at SteinLaw. We may be able to get you compensation to help you recover from your injuries.
What Is Organized Retail Crime (ORC)?
Organized retail crime (ORC) refers to professional shoplifting or other theft happening in retail stores. Far beyond a teenager slipping lipstick into her purse, ORC often involves multiple people grabbing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and walking out of the store with it, then selling the products online.
While retailers certainly do not appreciate the financial losses, the bigger problems are increasing brazenness and aggressiveness. In a recent survey, 86.2% of retailers said an ORC subject has verbally threatened an associate; 75.9% said an ORC subject has physically assaulted an associate, and 41% said an ORC subject has used a weapon to harm an associate.
If you have been injured due to an ORC, contact our expert and compassionate retail crime victim rights lawyers.
How ORC Impacts Inflation
All “shrink” – the retail term for inventory losses from theft, fraud, and paperwork errors – is on the rise, increasing from 1.4% to 1.6% of sales on average from 2015 to 2020. However, the estimated portion of those losses coming from organized retail crime is also growing – from 0.045% to 0.07% in the same timeframe.
While shrink is a normal part of the bottom line, the increase in organized retail crime is pressuring retailers to invest in new technology and additional security while at the same time making it even more difficult to hire and retain employees. When all these factors combine, increased product prices are a natural result.
How Organized Retail Crime Impacts Employees
Working retail was already one of the most dangerous jobs as far as nonfatal injuries even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. An increased risk of being attacked during the commission of a retail crime is one more reason on a long list of why it’s difficult for stores to retain employees.
How Retail Crime Impacts Customers
ORC affects customers in a few ways:
- High employee turnover results in poorer customer service
- Measures to prevent theft – like having products locked up – can make shopping unpleasant
- High rates of retail crime can lead to increased prices being passed on to customers
- Companies may spend too much time and money on loss prevention and become negligent in other ways that may lead to accidents and injuries
Can I Get Compensation if I Was Injured During a Retail Crime?
You may be able to get compensation for your injuries if you can prove the store was negligent and should have been able to prevent the attack that caused your injuries. For example, if you work for a store and were not properly trained on how to approach potential shoplifters, then you were injured when a possible criminal shoved you out of their way so they could leave with stolen merchandise, your employer may be held liable for your injuries (beyond what worker’s compensation may cover).
What Is Retail Store Negligence?
Retail stores have a duty of care to protect everybody who comes on their premises, including:
- Delivery people
- Anybody conducting business with the store
If they failed to take reasonable steps to keep you safe on the property and their negligence led to you being injured, you may be able to get compensation from the company to pay for your physical, financial, and emotional injuries.
What to Do if You Get Injured During a Retail Crime
If you get injured as a result of an organized retail crime – whether the criminals hurt you directly or whether you were hurt elsewhere in the store while the staff was busy trying to prevent ORC – you should take the following steps to increase your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries from the store.
Seek Medical Attention
If your injuries are serious, you should get immediate medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, such as scrapes and bruises, going to see a doctor provides a paper trail to prove later on that you were injured at the store. Your injuries may also be worse than you suspect, so it’s best to get checked out just in case.
File a Police Report
If you were attacked or another crime was committed, you should file a police report. Not only does this give the cops a chance to find the person or people who assaulted you, but it’s another important part of the paper trail that may help you down the road.
Collect and Keep Evidence
Take pictures or videos of the area around where the incident occurred to look for evidence the company was negligent. Get the names and contact information of anybody who saw what happened to you. And keep any torn or bloody clothing (or other evidence of your injuries) – unless the police ask for it, of course.
Contact an Experienced Retail Crime Victim Lawyer
An experienced retail crime victim lawyer will know whether you can pursue compensation for your injuries and can help you get the maximum amount of money. Rather than accepting whatever money the store’s insurance company may try to throw at you, contact a professional retail or mall crime victim rights lawyer first to discuss your case.
Contact a Florida Retail Crime Victim Lawyer Today
If you were injured during a retail crime, contact a crime victim rights lawyer at SteinLaw today for a free consultation. Even if shopping malls, large retailers, or mom-and-pop shops are experiencing more retail crime, they still owe a duty of care to keep you safe on their property and may owe you compensation for your injuries if they neglected that duty.