In an open letter to Congressional leadership, the CEOs expressed their concerns about organized retail crime on employees and communities across the U.S. and urged Congress to pass the Integrity, Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act.
The law targets online marketplaces and requires marketplaces to verify high-volume, third-party sellers as legitimate through several measures, including bank information and government-issued identification. Retailers were particularly concerned about counterfeits and stolen goods in online marketplaces, according to the letter, as sellers can hide behind anonymity on the internet.
“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.”
According to the CEOs, the bill makes it easier for consumers to identify who they are buying from and harder for criminal elements to hide behind usernames and false business information to sell illicit products.
“It is time for Congress to modernize our consumer safety laws so consumers, retail employees, and businesses are not targets of organized retail crime and dangerous counterfeit products,” the CEOs wrote. “Implementing basic transparency and verification protocols is essential and will finally expose criminals who are selling consumers stolen, fake and dangerous products.”
Retail leaders who signed the letter include:
Ken Hicks, Academy Sports + Outdoors
Corie Barry, Best Buy Co. Inc.
Lauren Hobart, DICK’S Sporting Goods Inc.
Richard Johnson, Foot Locker Inc.
W. Rodney McMullen, The Kroger Co.
Richard Keyes, Meijer Inc.
Erik B. Nordstrom, Nordstrom Inc.
Heyward Donigan, Rite Aid Corp.
Brian C. Cornell, Target Corp.
Steve Rendle, VF Corp.
William Rhodes, AutoZone Inc.
Neela Montgomery, CVS Health
Todd J. Vasos, Dollar General Corp.
Craig Menear, The Home Depot Inc.
Chip Bergh, Levi Strauss & Co.
Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Neiman Marcus Inc.
Ron Coughlin, Petco Animal Supplies Inc.
Anthony T. Hucker, Southeast Grocers
David Kimbell, Ulta Beauty Inc.
John Standley, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.
Brian Dodge, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)