In a letter to Congressional leadership, 20 CEOs of leading retailers expressed urgent concern over the growing impact of organized retail crime on retail employees and communities across the United States, according to a statement from the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
The signatories representing apparel, electronics, health and beauty, home improvement and general merchandise sectors asked lawmakers to pass the INFORM Consumers Act, designed to modernize consumer protection laws as a means of safeguarding families and communities from the sale of illicit products.
The letter addressed the key concern of the retail executives when it stated:
“There is no simple answer to stopping organized retail crime or the sale of counterfeits, but key to stemming the tide of these growing problems is transparency. If a customer buys a product from a local retail storefront or ecommerce site and it is broken or otherwise defective, the consumer knows exactly who to contact. There is accountability. In the current environment, criminal networks and unscrupulous businesses have exploited a system that protects their anonymity to sell unsafe, stolen, or counterfeit products with little legal recourse. This lack of transparency on particular third-party marketplaces has allowed criminal activity to fester.”
In the statement, the RILA noted:
“Retailers have made significant investments to combat organized retail crime, but as they note in today’s letter, criminals will continue these brazen thefts as long as they are able to anonymously sell their stolen goods via online marketplaces. Fortunately, there is a growing consensus among business leaders, law enforcement and a bipartisan group of policymakers that the INFORM Consumers Act is an important and appropriate step to stemming the tide. Deterring these crimes starts with making it harder for thieves to sell stolen goods online. We urge Congress to seize this opportunity to help protect communities, families, and consumers.”
Retail executive who signed today’s letter included:
- Ken Hicks, Academy Sports + Outdoors
- Corie Barry, Best Buy Co.
- Lauren Hobart, Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Richard Johnson, Foot Locker
- Rodney McMullen, The Kroger Co.
- Richard Keyes, Meijer
- Erik Nordstrom, Nordstrom
- Heyward Donigan, Rite Aid Corp.
- Brian Cornell, Target Corp.
- Steve Rendle, VF Corp.
- William Rhodes, AutoZone, Inc.
- Neela Montgomery, CVS Health
- Todd Vasos, Dollar General Corp.
- Craig Menear, The Home Depot
- Chip Bergh, Levi Strauss & Co.
- Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Neiman Marcus
- Ron Coughlin, Petco Animal Supplies
- Anthony Hucker, Southeast Grocers
- David Kimbell, Ulta Beauty
- John Standley, Walgreens Boots Alliance
- Brian Dodge, Retail Industry Leaders Association