Geospatial Analytics and Mapping-Critical Tools to Fight Retail Crime with Arcgis 

Produced by


Grant Drawve

VP, Research & Innovation
CAP Index

David Johnston

VP, Asset Protection and Retail Operations
National Retail Federation

Dr. Read Hayes

Loss Prevention Retail Council (LPRC)

Gary Sankary

Global Retail Industry

In an era where retail crime is escalating, with impacts ranging from shoplifting to organized theft, retailers are increasingly turning to geospatial technology and mapping as vital instruments in the battle against retail crime. The sessison, comprising Grant Drawve from CAP Index, Dr. Read Hayes from the Loss Prevention Retail Council (LPRC), David Johnston from the National Retail Federation, and Gary Sankary from Esri, shed light on the multifaceted approach needed to tackle the growing concern of retail crime.

David Johnston highlighted the alarming rise in organized retail crime and its evolution over the years. He shared, "The NRF's annual survey unveiled that inventory loss hit a record $112 billion last year, marking the highest year-over-year increase we've ever seen." This staggering statistic underscores the pressing need for innovative solutions in addressing retail crime.

Gary Sankary emphasized the significance of geospatial technology in identifying high-crime areas and patterns. "By analyzing disparate data within the context of location, retailers can find patterns in criminal activity that inform their prevention and recovery efforts," said Gary. This approach not only aids in making stores safer but also enhances the security of employees and customers alike.

The conversation also touched upon the importance of collaboration between retailers and law enforcement. Dr. Read Hayes discussed the use of GIS mapping to understand crime hotspots and track offenders' movements within retail environments. "Collaboration between law enforcement and retailers is crucial in addressing crime in shopping areas," Dr. Hayes remarked, highlighting the successful partnership in Gainesville, Florida, where mapping abandoned buildings and high-crime areas has led to a better understanding of crime patterns.

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Grant Drawve stressed the necessity of data-driven decision-making in loss prevention. "Retailers experienced losses due to property crime, with organized attacks increasing in sophistication. It's vital to dive deeper into the data to understand nuances based on location," Grant explained. This data-centric approach enables retailers to devise targeted strategies for crime prevention and mitigation.

The discussion also underscored that crime is not confined to specific neighborhoods or urban centers. Instead, as David noted, "Organized retail crime is starting in metropolitan areas and spreading to suburban and rural areas." This dispersion challenges the notion that certain areas are inherently safer than others, highlighting the need for a comprehensive and proactive approach to crime prevention.

One of the most insightful takeaways from the panel was the potential of geospatial intelligence to not only document and analyze current crime patterns but also to predict and prevent future incidents. This proactive stance is seen as a game-changer in the fight against retail crime.

As the discussion wrapped up, the speakers encouraged attendees to explore the resources provided by Esri and the LPRC, emphasizing the importance of staying informed and proactive in the face of evolving retail crime challenges. The session not only offered a deep dive into the complexities of retail crime but also shone a light on the innovative approaches and collaborative efforts required to address it effectively.

In conclusion, the discussion presented a compelling narrative on the critical role of geospatial analytics and mapping in combating retail crime. Through expert insights and real-world examples, it becomes evident that a multi-faceted strategy—encompassing technology, collaboration, and data-driven decision-making—is essential for retailers looking to safeguard their operations against the growing threat of criminal activities.

APRIL 2024