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National Retail Federation, eBay announce partnership to fight organised retail crime

The world’s largest online marketplace is partnering with the world’s largest retail trade association to tackle organised retail crime (ORC).

The partnership between eBay and the US’s National Retail Federation (NRF) will receive tie-in support from the country’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as retailer participation and new technology to identify and attack organised retail crime.

The partnership provides for greater information sharing to target ORC investigations that would further support the investigative efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement working in partnership with loss-prevention professionals.

"NRF has done a great job of shining a spotlight on the issue of organised retail crime, but retailers cannot fight this problem alone," said Paul Jones, global director of Asset Protection, eBay. "Through this partnership, NRF and eBay are putting criminals on notice that they will no longer be able to steal from retailers and abuse the online marketplace for profit."

The partnership is taking a multi-tiered approach to organised crime. The groups have agreed to:

  • Bring together a core group of NRF retail members and representatives of eBay on a regular basis to discuss ORC, brainstorm best practices to prevent it, and take steps to eradicate the activity.
  • Identify ways to leverage new technology, including NRF’s LERPnet and eBay’s PROACT programmes, to further assist law enforcement in identifying and tracking ORC rings.
  • Collaborate with the FBI to help identify crime rings that have been responsible for stealing merchandise in bulk.
  • Work together on legislation to enhance federal law enforcement resources to combat ORC and punish major offenders through enhanced criminal penalties.

"eBay has invested in a number of new resources and is making tremendous strides assisting retailers and law enforcement with tracking illegal behaviour," said Joe LaRocca, senior asset protection advisor, NRF. "The partnership between NRF and eBay will create standards and best practices to stop criminals from fencing their stolen goods."

Organised retail crime has long been an issue plaguing both retailers and secondary marketplaces. In an NRF survey conducted in 2009, 92 percent of retailers said they were victimised by ORC within the past year, and nearly three quarters (73 percent) also reported the level of ORC activity had increased.

(Source: eBay Inc. / NRF)