EBay, NRF take on crime!


and the National Retail Federation are teaming up to eradicate crime!

Sounds sexy until you realize the crimefighters are taking on the growing problem of shrink, or people stealing items from retail stores and the posting them for sale on eBay. Less glamorous, but a very significant problem for retailers. Global theft of merchandise reached $115 billion last year, according to a report from the UK-based Center for Retail Research and Checkpoint Systems.

EBay, the online auction site, and the NRF, the trade group for retailers, say they plan to brainstorm on a regular basis to come up with ideas on how to prevent organized retail crime, as well as use new technology to identify and track crime rings. They are also enlisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help identify crime rings responsible for bulk thefts, and plan to bring legislation to strengthen penalties for retail crimes.

A recent NRF study found that 92 percent of retailers complained of organized retail crime in the past year, and 73 percent said the level of such crime had risen.