U.S. retailers admit they lied about shoplifting, again

The circle of life. Stores fail for complex reasons → retailer quietly posts accurate analysis of its own mistakes → retailer loudly posts press release blaming shoplifters and gangs → media likes that story a bit too much for comfort → earnings season approaches forcing retail lobbyists to admit they were lying about the shoplifters and gangs → stores fail for complex reasons.

The main lobbying group for U.S. retailers retracted its claim that "organized retail crime" accounted for nearly half of all inventory losses in 2021 after finding that incorrect data was used for its analysis.

A spokesperson for the National Retail Federation said Tuesday that the organization had removed the sentence from its report on organized retail crime published in April. It produced the report in collaboration with private security firm K2 Integrity.

The NRF's claim that organized retail crime accounted for "nearly half" of inventory losses was repeated in multiple media reports on the issue. The NRF has cited growing rates of crime in calls for Congress to pass new laws, including proposed legislation that would broaden the scope of offenses considered "organized" crime and increase potential penalties.

Looking forward to next year's cycle. Attenborough voice: the business reporter has been at this chair for twenty years, and no longer reacts to the incoming stimulus as quickly as he once did. He has already forgotten the last time he dutifully wrote up a press release that came with cops to call for quotes, even though it has happened many times, but will continue to do so until he is too old. Then he will be forced out by younger, more vigorous reporters. But the old reporter is not finished. He is ready to become the person who sends the press releases.