Organized retail theft is on the rise and big retailers are feeling the pain.
Target (TGT) – Get Free Report recently said that it expects shrinkage to cost the company at least $500 million in profits this year, and while there are many sources of inventory shrink, theft and organized retail crime are increasingly important drivers of the issue,” CEO Brian Cornell said.
“We are making significant investments in strategies to prevent this from happening in our stores and protect our guests and our team.”
But that response is not enough for Peter Schiff, the famed stock broker and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital.
Schiff did not respond when asked to clarify where he thinks the blame “belongs,” but Target doesn’t seem to keen on following his advice to close stores to prevent shoplifting and abandoning neighborhoods where theft is high.
“We’re also focused on managing the financial impact on our business so we can continue to keep our stores open, knowing they create local jobs and offer convenient access to essentials.”
Organized retail theft involves coordinated and planned attacks on retailers, according to the National Retail Federation, and the true perpetrators — the people doing the organizing, providing the funds, and moving the merchandise — are often national or even international figures.
The NRF advocated for the bipartisan INFORM Consumers Act that was passed earlier this year. The law requires online marketplaces to verify the identities of high-volume third-party sellers which would “help curb the fencing of stolen merchandise.”
So while some people identify the true problem and come up with actual solutions, others like Schiff would rather blame “political correctness” and employ racist dog whistles to combat organized retail theft.
Many people will be watching to see which school of thought wins out.
Get exclusive access to portfolio managers and their proven investing strategies with Real Money Pro. Get started now.