This Is What Organized Retail Criminals Want

This Is What Organized Retail Criminals Want

  • Organized retail crime has contributed to a $94.5 billion inventory reduction problem for the retail industry.
  • Companies from Walgreens to Target have been sounding the alarm about rising retail theft for months.
  • Retail criminals steal across many different product categories, according to the National Retail Federation.

If you see locked containers of Tide detergent at your local Walmart or Target, organized retail criminals may be to blame.

A 2022 survey by the National Retail Federation found that laundry detergent is among the most stolen items in organized retail crime, contributing to a $94.5 billion inventory reduction problem for the retail industry. .

These crimes are not as simple as a lone thief taking a product. Instead, criminal organizations are stealing vast amounts of property and reselling it for a profit.

And organized retail crime isn’t the $10,000 jewelry heist you see in the movies, Jake Stauch, chief product officer at security company Verkada, told Insider.

Rather, he said a group of people who “specialize in a certain category,” like thermal coats, steal the products in burglaries or “smash and grab” jobs where they break into the retailer and then resell the products through a new distribution. channels like online marketplaces or sell the products to local retailers.

These are the most popular items for organized retail crime as identified by the National Retail Federation, in no particular order.


rtr third team

Denim clothing is among the items most likely to be targeted by organized retail crime.

Celia Fernandez/Insider

  • denim
  • Designer clothing
  • sportswear
  • intimate


Device cables

Organized retail criminals like to target charging cables, according to the National Retail Federation.

Moyo study/fake images

  • Accessories
  • charging cables
  • smart phones
  • Headphones
  • vacuum cleaners

Health and Beauty

Sephora fragrance

The fragrances draw the attention of organized retail criminals.

Alle Connell/Revealer

  • Medications (allergy and pain)
  • fragrances
  • Blades and razors
  • Cosmetic products
  • body wash


JCPenney watches

Organized retail criminals can steal watches and resell them at a higher price.

Shoshy Cement/Business Insider

  • designer bags
  • Fashion and fine jewelry
  • Belts
  • watches
  • designer sunglasses
  • brand glasses


talk all the stars

Shoe retailers should beware of organized retail criminals.

PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

  • Men’s and women’s footwear
  • Sports shoes and sneakers
  • designer shoes

Home furnishing

Bedding on display.

Bed linen is one of the main targets of organized retail crime.

Danielle Bauter

  • Litter
  • Household items
  • Home furniture
  • high end mirrors

Home improvement

home depot tools power drills

Home Depot and Lowe’s have developed ways to prevent power tools from working if stolen.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • Electrical tools and equipment
  • Outdoor and seasonal tools
  • Wire

Office supplies

printer ink

Printers, ink cartridges, and toner draw the attention of organized retail criminals.


  • Ink cartridges
  • printers
  • Toner

Food and drinks

Aldi supermarket USA

Meat and other grocery items are also stolen by organized retail criminals.

Maria Meisenzahl/Insider

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Candy
  • Alcohol
  • Energy drinks

children’s items

Empty shelves of infant formula

Infant formula, which has been in short supply, is a target of organized retail crime.

REUTERS/Jessica Dinapoli

  • infant formula
  • Baby and toddler items
  • children’s toys


ps4 gift card

Gift cards are also not safe from organized retail crime.


  • Detergent
  • Tobacco
  • pet medications
  • travel goods
  • Physical and electronic gift cards

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