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CEO Highlights ‘Inventory Shrinkage’ from Theft

An article in the Wall Street Journal makes the following claim: “America’s turn toward lawlessness is nowhere more evident than at retail stores, where these days even toothpaste is often under lock and key. Now Brian Cornell, the CEO of Target Corp., has put a number on the cost of “inventory shrinkage,” which is mostly theft: $500 million in lower profits this year (2023).

Cornell says, “The unfortunate fact is violent incidents are increasing at our stores and across the entire retail industry. And when products are stolen, simply put, they are no longer available for guests who depend on them.”

The National Retail Federation calls it ORC or organized retail crime. In a recent report they warned of the increasing endorsement and even celebration of theft. The report stated, “Videos tagged with terms related to shoplifting have accumulated millions of views on social media platforms such as TikTok, and broader social acceptance of retail theft or indifference about purchasing stolen goods suggests ORC perpetrators could face relatively less public shame than other criminals if ORC practices gain greater cultural resonance.” In other words, stealing is now cool.


The Editorial Board, “The Target of Runaway Theft,” The Wall Street Journal (5-21-23)

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