EBay, NRF to take on organized U.S. retail crime

* EBay, trade group partner to lower organized retail crime

* Say will work with law enforcement on prevention

* Retail theft estimated at about $115 bln globally

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22 (BestGrowthStock) – EBay Inc (EBAY.O: ) and
the National Retail Federation, the trade group for the retail
industry, said on Monday they have teamed to combat organized
retail crime.

The partnership, which will receive support from the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, aims to help law enforcement
in criminal probes and to prevent crimes in which goods are
stolen from brick-and-mortar stores and then resold online.

Retail theft, dubbed “shrink” by the industry, reached
nearly $115 billion globally last year, according to a report
released in November from the UK-based Centre for Retail
Research and Checkpoint Systems (CKP.N: ).

While part of the loss comes from shoplifting by the public
and theft by employees, the dent from organized retail crime
can be even greater, as goods are stolen in bulk.

According to a 2009 NRF study, 92 percent of retailers
complained of organized retail crime in the past year. Some 73
percent said the level of such crime had risen.

EBay, a vast e-commerce marketplace where buyers and
sellers connect, has long striven to ensure that brands sold on
its site are legitimate and that posts from sellers peddling
counterfeit goods are quickly removed.

Still, brands complain that stolen goods easily make their
way to the Internet, where their origins are more difficult to
track.

EBay and the NRF said representatives from their groups
would meet on a regular basis to brainstorm the best ways to
prevent organized retail crime, while using new technology to
identify and track crime rings.

They said they will collaborate with the FBI to help
identify crime rings responsible for stealing merchandise in
bulk and work together on legislation to strengthen resources
for federal law enforcement and enhance penalties for crimes.

Money

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage, editing by Matthew Lewis)

EBay, NRF to take on organized U.S. retail crime