Andrew Burnstine – Retail Matters

We’ve all been in a store like Walmart or Target and noticed products like body wash locked away behind protective windows or security guards lingering at the doors and checkouts.

The reason, retailers have increasingly said, is theft. Last September, Target even closed several stores, blaming retail crime. The National Retail Federation said last April that “organized retail crime” — groups of people stealing merchandise, usually for resale — accounted for billions in goods that went missing from stores in 2021.

But answering the question of how big a problem it actually is is actually really hard, according to a recent report compiled by two researchers for the Brookings Institution.

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