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The D&D Daily ORC Survey Results

How will COVID-19 impact Loss Prevention & Organized Retail Crime at your stores as the nation prepares to reopen?

The D&D Daily's recent ORC survey conducted from April 27 to May 15, 2020 showed the overwhelming opinion (94%) that ORC suspects are becoming more aggressive and with 91% expecting to see an increase in activity.

With one estimate being 20-30% more ORC activity.

With tighter budgets, 69% cutting or questioning existing staffing levels, and COVID-19 restrictions, the overall consensus shows that the virtual workplace will continue to prevail and play a dominant role. While obviously evolving even further to a point we may have yet to realize.

And based on these results, the virtual workplace may evolve into being the preferred method of operation long term, following the overall trends industry-wide in retail.

With 96% increasing telephone practices, video conferencing, remote audits and virtual training. One thing for sure is the Zoom world is making a difference.

When it comes networking, trade shows, and face-to-face meetings; that is developing relationships, that may be the one significant drawback in this new COVID virtual world with 70% not expecting to attend any on-site conferences in the near term.

Another relationship that in the past has been very effective and growing steadily is reflected in the strong (84%) commitment to and reliance on increasing collaborative efforts with law enforcement. A channel that may be facing some difficulties given the current defunding trend and ongoing decriminalization efforts.

Interestingly, almost 50% are now increasing the role of uniform security guards in the stores - the largest figure to date the Daily's ever reported or seen.

Regretfully, during the shutdown 64%, up to May 15th remember, pre protests and riots, had experienced burglaries and vandalism. A number that's almost irrelevant now. But one to consider.

At the time and very concerning was the finding that 26% had no policy in place for managing COVID-19 shoplifters and 43.5% were working on the policy. Something that we'd expect everyone to have accomplished by now.

Lastly, it was extremely interesting to see that the testing of returning workers to be literally split down the middle at 51% yes and 49% no. Once again, a number that has probably changed significantly.

The post-shutdown retail climate certainly appears to be as everyone would expect: Tighter budgets, more aggressive ORC suspects, more restrictions, no travel, and definitely more virtual.

And if there's a couple of things to take away from this they are:

- Expect a rise in aggressive ORC

- The virtual workplace is here to stay - Develop yourself accordingly.

- Trade shows & Networking may not be back until 2022 & won't resemble yesterday's

- ORC Associations may be negatively impacted short term

- The challenge now for everyone will be to continue developing your virtual skills and focus on continuing to deliver best-in-class services and results utilizing the technology and teams in place and ensuring a safe working and shopping environment.

- Make sure you read the comments section at the bottom.

Special note: We will be conducting another survey starting next week and we'd appreciate hearing from you - your input-advice-guidance? Send it to and

Survey Highlights

In response to a recent D&D Daily survey, industry leaders from all types of retail environments shared their feedback on how COVID-19 will impact Loss Prevention and Organized Retail Crime as stores continue to open across the country.

The survey was developed with the help of several key leaders in our industry, and the response was overwhelming.

Survey respondents came from nearly every type of retail environment, with 76% of respondents having 15+ years in the field.

While the goal of the survey was to gain information on the future planning when stores reopened, we also developed additional base-line questions referring to the current issues of ORC; ie:

Top 3 ORC theft items: The respondents' results of #1 Clothing, #2 Cosmetics, #3 Health & Beauty and #4 Electronics, nearly matched the D&D Daily's ORC Report.

The Daily has reported Clothing and Electronics in the top two positions since 2017.

Looking forward, 91% of respondents believe that ORC activity would increase following the stores reopening.

94% of respondents agreed with the Daily's findings that ORC Crews/Shoplifters were becoming more aggressive. At the time, we had no way to predict the devastation that would result from looting in cities and towns across the nation.

While retailers indicated that 34% currently had Uniform Guards in place, 51% had no future plans for guards, which may have taken a dramatic turn in the past 3 weeks.

The Daily has recently reported that the city of Chicago has hired 3 private security firms for $1.2M to patrol retail corridors.

Looking at budgeting, staffing and travel, the economic impacts of Covid-19 were very obvious.

With 70% of respondents indicating that they had no plans to attend future Loss Prevention conferences this year.

The survey asked, 'Do you have anyone on your LP Team who may not return due to the furlough?' Nearly 19% said yes, while over 30% indicated unknown at this time.

We can now see that due to the cuts of many Loss Prevention departments, that unknown group was sadly on track.

We all know the importance of store visits, audits and interviews, yet less than 44% of respondents indicated that they would return to a normal travel schedule in the next month, placing a higher emphasis (96%) on telephone interviewing and video training.

The results show that even as the country attempts to resume business as usual, the retail landscape could remain permanently changed as a result of the pandemic.

Thank you to all of the industry leaders that took the time to offer their valuable feedback. Read the full results below.


Full Survey Results

Do you have anyone on your LP Team who may not return due to the furlough?

Based on the D&D Daily's 2019 ORC Report, the Top 7 theft items were Clothing, Electronics, Tools, Cosmetics/ Perfume, Jewelry, Alcohol/Cigarettes, Sporting Goods/ Guns. Rank your Top 3 ORC theft items.

Based on 200+ results:

#1 Clothing
#2 Cosmetics
#3 Health & Beauty
#4 Electronics
#5 Jewelry
#6 Food

Do you expect an increase in ORC Activity?

91% Yes
9% No

*Yes: with the economy nearing a depression along with the criminal justice system reducing numbers in prisons and early release, we can expect repeat offenders back and newer members recruited to make money.

*Yes, I would expect at least a 20-30% increase

*Absolutely. The grocery industry, or at least my company, is already seeing a significant increase.

*Yes, due to identities being concealed with masks and the courts/police doing nothing to stop the subjects.

*No, ORC doesn't work that way. There will be no increase


Prior to COVID, many retailers saw spike in fraud both in stores and online.
What has been your largest area of increased fraud activity?

Will Uniform Security Guard services take on an increased role in your store?

Did your store(s) experience shutdown related Burglaries / Vandalism?

64% - No
36% - Yes

Based on Reports in The Daily, Shoplifters/ ORC Crews are becoming more Aggressive.
Do you see it becoming more aggressive?

94% - Yes
6% - No

Do you plan to collaborate more with peer retailers to garner more leverage with law enforcement?

87% - Yes
13% - No

Will you have a policy in place if a shoplifting suspect claims to be Covid-19 positive?

Does the Police Department in your area have a policy on picking up/transporting a shoplifter claiming to be Covid-19 positive?

63% - No
37% - No

How long until you resume a 'normal' travel and store visit schedules?

56% - Indicated that it would be a month until restarting a normal travel schedule.
14% - Indicated that travel would need to continue

Will you be conducting more Telephone Interviews /Video Conferencing, audits, training?

96% - Yes
4% - No change

Will your local ORC Organizations increase the flow of information through Industry Networking or Zoom-ing?

76% - Yes
24% - No

Will your LP Team be attending any outside conferences? Y/N ... (if yes) which events?
*This survey began prior to the cancellation of many major LP events/ shows.

70% - No
17% - Yes
11% - Undecided
2% - Without Travel

When you reopen stores, will your company test employees returning to work?

51% - Yes
49% - No

Anything else you'd like to share or mention? (If you feel it has value to the LP community, we can post this response in the Daily anonymously or with your byline, if you'd prefer)

*The reduction of police response and criminal prosecutions in many city centers for so-called "crimes of survival", the fashionable social justice warrior term for shoplifting, coupled with the release from custody of recidivist shoplifters has essentially de-criminalized theft from retailers. And with so many ORC networks having been sidelined for months, it will indeed be open season.

*Covid has an impact on ORC for certain. More ORC will be developed by boosters utilizing Facebook Marketplace sites and other online venues until brink and mortar stores reopen- but there will be fences. ORC has, and will continue to increase since it is driven by narcotics. These boosters don't factor in Covid, but buying online will have even a more volatile impact on health and safety concerns, even more than before. Affording ORC training to associates and having a robust ORC program will be more important than ever. Additionally, with politicians directing law enforcement to "not make arrest for property crime, narcotics possession of small amounts and prostitution, retailers need to make certain law enforcement can distinguish ORC from low level property crimes or "simply possession" of narcotics. *Education for law enforcement needs to be more impactful than ever before. If the retailers can't, or lack the knowledge, to prepare an ORC case for law enforcement, in these new times the ORC cases will not be prosecuted.

*Cleaning protocols and execution will be crucial to the Safety of your Team and Customers. The expectation / standards need to be set far before the doors are opened. Emergency Plans have to be updated to reflect Pandemic Response. Everyone want to get back to some normalcy. It is up to us as Leaders to ensure our new "normal" is safe for all. We owe it to our Teams and our Communities.

*While the news may be bleak, our retail community is resilient. COVID_19 has not killed retail, rather it's transformed us. Our community of Asset Protection professionals continues to support our partners, associates, and guests as we define a safe path forward in this new world. Customers, sales, and jobs will return. We must stay the course, help each other, and have faith, for success is near.
- Joe Biffar Chico's FAS

*This situation is compounded by the fact most bail reform legislation has no carve out for theft for personal gain, which had already emboldened ORC in our area.

*Seeing an increase in counterfeit bills.

*Be flexible to online business increasing as well as fraud.

*CEOs, C-Suite, Regional and District Managers have done a great job helping in stores to stock shelves, engage guests, etc during this period. How about with the expected dramatic increase in ORC and shoplifting if LP Executives go to stores and help deter and apprehend these criminals once stores are open again?

*We are currently monitoring 25 locations from our corporate office for suspicious activities. Since the out brake we have added a temporary Monitoring Station (MS) to help monitor. We will be making this a permanent change. Also, we have stopped apprehending shoplifters as they exit the store. Once a suspect conceals merchandise we are approaching them and getting our product back and making them leave the store.

*LP departments have changed, not the same

*Extra EBT funds, stimulus money, and pandemic scare has we given our stores record shattering sales. Loss Prevention has really partnered with Operations in assisting getting contacts for products our warehouses couldn't get or were simply out of stock on. Overall, I believe this pandemic has brought stores closer together. Thinking outside the box to keep everyone safe was our top priority. No pushback on temperature checks. We have not had any cases in any of the stores. We are thankful for that stat.

*Governors releasing inmates from jails really increased activity for us. Multiple criminal actors were released and right back to full cart push outs at the stores, knowing the police would not even come out to take a report, let alone take them into custody. Something needs to change with legislation.

Information about those who responded to the D&D Daily survey

Years of Experience in Retail Loss Prevention

In what type of Retail environment are you currently working?