INFORM Act looks to curb prolific organized retail crime that negatively impacts Michigan retailers
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) is applauding the introduction new legislation HB 5485-5487 designed to address the exploding problem of organized retail crime by adding transparency and verification tools that should limit the resale opportunities of stolen products online.
“Organized retail crime has been a growing problem for years that exploded during the pandemic,” said William J. Hallan, President and CEO of Michigan Retailers Association. “Having counterfeit or stolen items listed online next to legitimate products not only hurts large and small businesses but creates a safety risk for consumers because they may not understand that items they purchased on an online marketplace may be unsafe, deceptively labeled, expired, or even banned on a federal level.”
Hallan also added that online organized retail crime creates a safety risk for in-store employees that may encounter aggressive “flash mobs” of thieves that operate on behalf of larger criminal rings that steal in bulk and sell the stolen goods online.
According to the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail, organized retail crime accounts for around $45 billion in annual losses for retailers these days, up from $30 billion a decade ago.
“This bill package is necessary to help law enforcement identify bad actors on marketplaces and to provide some regulation of online marketplaces to protect both consumers and the reputation of legitimate online sellers,” said Hallan. “By having online marketplaces take responsibility for the sellers and products they allow on their platform, just as brick-and-mortar retailers do for products on their shelves, we cut off a supply source for criminals and help Michigan retailers continue recovering from the effects of the pandemic. We applaud Reps. Frederick, Tisdel and Steckloff for taking a courageous step to fix this problem and urge the legislature to move HB 5485-5467 quickly as the holiday season is fast approaching.”
About Michigan Retailers Association
Founded in 1940, the Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) represents more than 5,000 businesses and their 15,000 stores and websites. As the voice of Michigan’s retail industry, the association works to promote retail-friendly policies, protect the retail industry from harmful taxes and regulations and educate consumers on the importance of keeping their money in the Mitten. To learn more about our products and services visit www.retailers.com.