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Business groups support legislation addressing organized retail crime

Side view of the front of the US capitol building.

February 1, 2023 — NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, ICSC announced its support of S. 140, the “Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023,” introduced by Senators Charles “Chuck” Grassley (R-IA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

The legislation establishes a coordinated multi-agency response and creates new tools to tackle evolving trends in organized retail crime (ORC). The bill is an important step toward addressing the growing issue of ORC, a crime that not only harms communities and retail centers but also threatens the safety of consumers and retail workers alike.

ORC involves a criminal enterprise employing a group of individuals (two or more) who steal substantial quantities of merchandise from a retailer(s). According to the National Retail Federation Security Survey, as much as $94 billion worth of merchandise was stolen from retailers in 2022.

The bipartisan measure creates a unified government and industry collaboration to address this escalating problem. S. 140 establishes a Center to Combat Organized Retail Crime at Homeland Security Investigations that combines expertise from state and local law enforcement agencies as well as retail industry representatives.

It also creates new tools to assist in federal investigation and prosecution of organized retail crime as well as help recover lost goods and proceeds.

A companion bill is expected to be introduced next week in the House of Representatives.

The legislation is supported by ICSC, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD and the PASS (Protect America’s Small Sellers) Coalition.

“Organized retail crime is leading to more brazen and more violent attacks in retail stores and centers throughout the country, putting employees and consumers at risk. In light of the increased number of attacks and lost revenue, we’re pleased that this legislation will broaden the statutes dealing with the transport of stolen goods and provide additional resources to law enforcement at both the federal and state level,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC.

In a recent survey of retail asset protection managers conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association, over 86 percent of respondents said retail associates had been verbally threatened with bodily harm, nearly 76 percent reported associates were physically assaulted or threatened with a weapon, and more than 40 percent of associates were harmed by a weapon used by an ORC criminal.

ICSC applauds this important development and supports enactment of S. 140 by Congress this year.

Click here for a summary of the legislation.

About ICSC
The member organization for industry advancement, ICSC promotes and elevates the marketplaces and spaces where people shop, dine, work, play and gather as foundational and vital ingredients of communities and economies. ICSC produces experiences that create connections and catalyze deals; aggressively advocates to shape public policy; develops high-impact marketing and public relations that influence opinion; provides an enduring platform for professional success; and creates forward-thinking content with actionable insights – all of which drive industry innovation and growth. For more information, please visit