Target has announced that they expect organized retail crime to contribute to an additional $500 million in stolen and lost merchandise this year, resulting in a projected shrinkage exceeding $1 billion.
Target CEO Brian Cornell has acknowledged the challenge of organized retail crime, which has led to an increase in theft and inventory loss. This issue has emerged alongside slower sales and a more price-sensitive customer base, posing a significant concern for the company and the retail industry as a whole.
Cornell emphasized the negative impact of retail theft on product availability, shopping convenience, and the safety of Target’s team and customers. The growth of online marketplaces enabling anonymous selling of stolen goods has been attributed to the rise in organized retail crime. Several major retailers, including Home Depot, Walmart, Best Buy, Walgreens, and CVS, have also highlighted the worsening problem of shrinkage.
However, accurately quantifying the extent of organized retail theft and its growth remains challenging. Target is actively taking measures to mitigate theft, such as installing protective fixtures and adjusting product assortment, while collaborating with law enforcement, politicians, and retail trade groups to find policy solutions.