Retailers Are Racking Up Billions In Losses To Organized Retail Crime

Retail Thefts Cost Billions

The Nike store in Portland, Oregon, has been closed for weeks because of theft crimes, and it is unclear when it will reopen.

“Our store is closed for the next 7 days,” reads a message on the Nike Community Store Portland website, according to KGW8.

According to the outlet, this message has been in place for weeks.

The store has long had a problem with theft, and shoplifting has increased, according to several people with knowledge of the situation. The church nearby Nike location has even recorded thieves fleeing with stolen goods in their arms as they fled the store.

“Clearly, they have stolen something and are looking for somewhere to dump it,” Pastor Paul Greenidge told the outlet.

In an effort to protect workers at the Nike location, security guards and employees are instructed not to intervene if shoplifters try to steal.

In the meantime, Nike customers are confused as to why the store is not opening, not knowing why or when it will reopen.

The Nike store door says nothing, Carmelleta Nash-Pronold said, after finding it closed one day. “Usually, stores let you know when they close.”

Nike’s worldwide headquarters is located in Beaverton, Oregon, just outside of Portland.

Several other stores in the city have recently closed as a result of crime and safety concerns, including Cracker Barrel and Starbucks.

In 2021, organized retail crime became a multi-billion dollar issue for businesses. The National Retail Federation conducted a survey that found organized retail crime increased by 26.5% in 2021.

As a result of an uptick in retail crime, Wawa announced last month that it would be closing two locations in Philadelphia. Walgreens announced last year that a handful of locations would be shutting down due to rampant theft, and other drug and grocery stores have cut hours to help curb crime.

During a call with reporters this week, Target CFO Michael Fiddelke said that the company lost $400 million in profits this year, which a spokesperson later attributed to “organized retail crime.”

In 2021, smash-and-grab crimes battered California, which carried over into 2022. It is common for thieves to break into high-end stores with heavy objects such as crowbars and bats, break display cases inside the stores, and steal jewelry, handbags, sunglasses, and more.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.