Did you ever stock a shelf with merchandise only to discover a few hours later that it was empty with no record of sales? Almost every retailer has experienced shelf sweeping and its effects firsthand. While some amateur thieves attempt to sweep shelves, organized retail crime (ORC) groups are professionals at it. 

Organized retail crime is when two or more people work together to steal a significant amount of merchandise from a retailer and then resell it. These professional thieves plan which retailer to target and which products to steal. 

So, what can you do to protect yourself? There are several loss prevention solutions that protect against ORC groups and are also flexible and scalable for your business. Learn more about what is organized retail crime and the anti-sweep shelf products that can protect you from these thieves. 

What Is Organized Retail Crime?

As we mentioned above, organized retail crime typically involves a group of individuals who make it their job to steal merchandise and resell it. There are ORC groups that operate on all levels, from a local scale to a national scale. So even if you have a store location in a small community, you’re not immune to ORC. 

Now that you know more about what is organized retail crime, the first step towards deterring it is to understand the type of products they target. Then you can find solutions to strengthen merchandise protection for those items. 

Types of Merchandise Targeted by ORC Groups

  • High demand products 
    • Cosmetics 
    • OTC medications 
    • Personal use items 
  • Items that are small, easy to access, and quick conceal 
  • Merchandise that is regularly in demand from consumers 
  • Fast-selling products (easy turnaround time for thieves)

What You Can Do to Protect Against Organized Retail Crime 

ORC groups aren’t new; they’ve been around for decades. There are even associations that help loss prevention professionals work together with law enforcement to combat ORC. Although if you’re looking for a more immediate solution to deter theft and prevent loss, you’re in the right place.

Several anti-sweep shelf product styles are on the market that can aid your loss prevention strategy. At Product Protection Solutions (PPS), our team can assist you in finding the right option for you. 

When it comes to ORC theft, we recommend the IMCo Solutions products over other brands because their products:

  • Provides an Early Warning Solution, which means that it uses sound to:
    • Show thieves that you’re monitoring products 
    • Notify staff that there is activity on the shelf 
  • Utilizes IoT solutions (Internet of Things) 
  • Secures products at the POS
  • Are battery powered with a 2- to 3-year life expectancy

The most significant reason is their ability to be a shield for your store! Their products can connect with your other anti-theft solutions and technology, making it a flexible and scalable option.

4 Anti-Sweep Solutions to Protect Against Organized Retail Crime

Option #1 Single Rod Hooks by IMCo

  • “L” shape design makes it challenging to sweep items and continue walking 
  • Small beep every time someone removes a product 
  • Customizable options for when to trigger an alarm
    • i.e., after someone remove three objects within 10 seconds 

Option #2 Pro Plus Hooks by IMCo

  • Two prongs to prevent shelf sweeping by making it impossible to remove two products at once 
  • Small beep during product removal 
  • Customizable options for when to trigger an alarm

Option #3 B-Push by IMCo

  • Works with an existing pusher that has a flat surface
  • Quick and easy installation 
  • Uses motion sensors to detect product removal  
  • A small beep sounds when someone removes an item
  • Customizable options for when to trigger an alarm

Option #4 Flex Panel by IMCo

  • Whole shelf security 
  • Uses panels to secure products while still allowing for open merchandising 
  • A sensor on the panel to detect the panel’s movement 
  • A small beep sounds when the panel moves
  • Shelf-ready solution within a few minutes: 
    • Remove from box
    • Place on top of the shelf
  • Scalable options for when your needs grow 

Are You Ready to Prevent Shelf Sweeping? 

Anti-sweep shelf tools deter ORC theft and combat shrinkage from it. Using IMCo’s loss prevention solutions on hanging and shelf merchandise is especially helpful in discouraging theft. 

Contact our team to learn how the flexibility of IMCo products can make the difference between earning and losing money!