The growth of organized retail theft

A look at how retailers are partnering in a campaign to bring awareness to organized retail crime

Shoplifting has evolved into a more lucrative criminal enterprise.

Each year organized groups of professional shoplifters steal or fraudulently obtain billions of dollars in retail merchandise to resell back into the marketplace.

This activity, known as organized retail theft, is a growing concern for retailers across Canada. In addition to the direct financial losses to retailers, those who engage in organized retail theft also pose a significant threat to the safety of employees and the community during the commission of their crimes.

What's more concerning, is the potential public health and safety concerns involved – for example, some products commonly stolen for resale include infant formula, over-the-counter medications and other health & beauty items; which may be expired, repackaged, or improperly stored or handled before reaching the consumer.

Recognizing this and with employee and community safety top of mind – the Retail Council of Canada, Building Owners and Managers Association of Toronto (BOMA), Interac Association, FACECROOK and retailers like TJX Canada, Loblaw Companies, Sobeys, Mac’s Convenience Stores and Building Technologies have partnered with Toronto Crime Stoppers, Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers and the creative team at DDB Canada to develop a proactive campaign to bring awareness to the issue of Organized Retail Crime.

The focus of the initiative is straightforward – create awareness in the community on the growing issue of retail theft, let the offenders know the retail industry is taking action and lastly, provide the community with a conduit to relay anonymous information of offenders to the police by calling Crime Stoppers.

By working together with aggressive campaigns like this, Toronto Crime Stoppers and the Retail Industry will continue to make a difference in the prevention of crime at their locations. For more information on Organized Retail Crime visit

Don’t be a target for these professional and organized thieves... If you are interested in obtaining the awareness posters or the radio PSA’s, please e-mail me.

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