43 Retail Crime Statistics You Need To Know In 2023
DealAid curates retail crime statistics in the United States from government data, non-profit organizations and other sources. This report includes data on organized retail crime, external retail theft, internal retail theft and retail loss prevention. Please refer to the footnotes for original data sources.
*This resource will be updated with more 2022 statistics in Q3 2023 when more data becomes available.
Key Retail Crime Statistics
- Organized retail crime and external theft cost US Retailers $34.97 billion in 2021.
- 81.2% of retailers saw an increase in violence and aggression associated with retail theft.
- 56% of small retail businesses in US experienced theft in the past year.
- Retail shrink cost US retailers $94.5 billion last year which represents a 1.4% shrink rate.
- Retail shrink in dollar value increased by 4.1% in 2021 compared to 2020.
- Over the past five years, average retail shrink rate has been 1.5%.
- External theft including organized retail crime accounted for 37% of retail shrink last year.
- Internal (employee) theft accounted for 28.5% of retail shrink last year.
- Average loss per shoplifting incident over the past five years has been $524.07.
- 46% of small retail businesses forced to increase prices as a result of theft.
Organized Retail Crime Statistics
- US retailers experienced an increase of organized retail crime by 26.5% last year.
- 68.5% of retailers in US don’t have Organized Retail Crime (ORC) prevention departments.
- Retailers with an ORC team reported 3.3x more organized retail crime incidents than retailers without an ORC team.
- 68.9% of retailers reported that in-store fraud increased last year.
- Most common type of retail fraud includes: gift card fraud; discount and loyalty fraud; return fraud; and payment fraud.
- 74.1% of retailers reported gift card related crimes in the past year.
- 95.1% of gift cards originating from retail crime end up being sold online.
- Los Angeles has had the most reported organized retail crime incidents among all American cities in the past four years.
- San Francisco, New York, Houston & Miami made the top five cities with most organized retail crime incidents in the past year.
- 50% of small retail businesses experienced more shoplifting last year than in years past.
- Items most likely to be targeted by organized retail crime tend to be: concealable, removable, available, valuable, enjoyable and disposable (CRAVED).
- Top categories affected by organized retail crime are: apparel, health & beauty, electronics, accessories, food & beverage, footwear, home furnishings, home improvement, eyewear, office supplies, infant care, toys and other.
Internal Retail Theft Statistics
- Internal & employee theft cost American retailers $26.93 billion last year.
- Average value of internal and employee theft incident is almost 3x more than the average value of external theft incident, $1,551 versus $524.
- 88% of all internal & employee theft incidents included attempts to hide the crime.
- Billing and non-cash theft represents 38% of all internal and employee theft cases.
- The most common categories of internal and employee theft outside of cash/time are: electronics, clothing, office supplies and food & drink.
- 57% off all fraud cases are employee related.
- Internal & employee theft has increased as a risk priority by 56.9% of retailers in the last five years.
- 22% of small business retailers reported incidents of employee theft.
Retail Loss Prevention Statistics
- 37.1% of retailers increased the size of their loss prevention & asset protection teams in the last year.
- 44.5% of retailers increased spending on loss prevention & asset protection in the last year.
- Technology (60.3%), capital/equipment (52.4%), other (42.9%) and guards (32.3%) were the loss prevention categories with largest increases in spending.
- RFID systems (38.6%), AI POS/SCO video analytics (29.8%), license plate recognition (19.3%) and self service locking cases (17.5%) are the most popular loss prevention/asset protection technologies among retailers who are already implementing or planning to implement.
- 37.9% of retailers do not authorize any of their employees to apprehend shoplifters.
- 70.9% of retailers do not have a value threshold for persecuting retail crime incidents.
- Average threshold value for retailers that persecute internal theft and fraud is $1650.
- Average threshold value for retailers that persecute external theft and fraud is $655.
- Only 31.5% of retailers have Organized Retail Crime dedicated teams with 17 team member average.
- 36% of small retail businesses have enhanced or implemented security features to combat retail theft.