Study Reveals Top 10 Cities With Worst Retail Theft: Notice a Trend?

Surging retail theft rates in the U.S. have pushed several prominent stores to shut their doors.

A recent study highlights that certain U.S. urban areas are particularly affected by structured retail theft.

The National Retail Federation (NRF), recognized on its website as the planet's premier retail trade group, unveiled its 2023 Retail Security Survey. This analysis is rooted in data from 177 retail companies that were responsible for sales reaching $1.6 trillion in 2022 and spanned more than 97,000 retail outlets nationwide.

In a snapshot of the findings, survey participants indicated an average inventory loss, known as shrink, of 1.6 percent in the previous year, translating to a staggering $112.1 billion. This is a noticeable increase from the 1.4 percent reported the year prior. A significant 65 percent of this shrinkage was attributed to external theft, with organized shoplifting events being a major contributor.

For clarity, the NRF's 2023 survey defines organized retail crime as acts of theft or fraud carried out with the intention of monetizing unlawfully procured goods, cash, cargo, or their equivalents.

The cities most burdened by retail theft last year, as identified by the NRF's data, were:

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Oakland/San Francisco, California
  • Houston, Texas
  • New York City, New York
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sacramento, California and Chicago, Illinois (tied)
  • Denver, Colorado; Miami, Florida; and Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hmm, it seems like all of these cities have something in common. Can anyone help me figure out what that is?

For the fifth year in a row, Los Angeles has claimed the top spot, having surpassed New York City in 2018.

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