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WASHINGTON - Big retailers Wal-Mart, Safeway, and Circuit City are among the latest to join the Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Network (LERPnet) -- the only national database designed to bring local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and retailers together.
Two months after the official launch, the program now boasts a total of 45 member companies, including five of the nation's top 10 retailers.
"The deployment and rapid adoption of LERPnet is the end result of a long and successful campaign to understand the growing problem of organized and retail crime," said National Retail Federation v.p. of loss prevention Joseph LaRocca in a statement.
The National Retail Federation's 2007 Organized Retail Crime Survey, released last week, found that 71 percent of retailers have noticed an increase in criminal activity in the past 12 months, compared to 48 percent in 2006. This increased awareness, coupled with the acceptance of the LERPnet database, will dramatically increase the ability of retailers and law enforcement to collaborate on tackling organized retail crime, NRF said.
NRA said that LERPnet's newest subscribers include Albertson's, AutoZone, Circuit City, JCPenney, Macy's, Safeway, Sears Holdings Corp., Walgreen Co., and Wal-Mart.
NRF and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, launched LERPnet on April 9. Retailers of any size and in any sector can join LERPnet for $1,200 a year.
For more information on NRF's 2007 Organized Retail Crime Survey or to read about LERPnet's launch, visit www.nrf.com/press, or check out the June 1 issue of Progressive Grocer, which features a column about LERPnet's progress so far, written by LaRocca.
The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2006 sales of $4.7 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national, and international retail associations.