Twenty chief executive officers (CEOs) of leading retailers are calling on Congress to pass legislation to curb the sale of stolen goods online in the wake of “organized retail crime” across the United States. The Retail Industry Leaders Association sent a letter to Congressional leadership on Thursday, which was signed by CEOs of Home Depot, Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and executives of many more retail titans. The letter expresses that “Leading retailers are concerned about the growing impact organized retail crime is having on the communities we proudly serve” and urges Congress to pass the “Integrity, Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act.”
It reads in part:
As millions of Americans have undoubtedly seen on the news in recent weeks and months, retail establishments of all kinds have seen a significant uptick in organized crime in communities across the nation. While we constantly invest in people, policies, and innovative technology to deter theft, criminals are capitalizing on the anonymity of the Internet and the failure of certain marketplaces to verify their sellers. This trend has made retail businesses a target for increasing theft, hurt legitimate businesses who are forced to compete against unscrupulous sellers, and has greatly increased consumer exposure to unsafe and dangerous counterfeit products.
The letter focuses on the lack of “transparency” when thieves sell stolen goods in a second-hand market through a third-party online and its adverse effects on consumers. “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,” the letter reads. “This lack of transparency on particular third-party marketplaces has allowed criminal activity to fester.”