Retail Fatalities & Violent Incidents Up 40% in the U.S. in 2020, According to D&D Daily Reporting

January 19, 2021
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Five-Year 40% Spike in Retail Fatalities Reflects Nation’s Increasing Murder Rate & Gun Violence Trend.

Despite COVID shutdowns, violent fatalities in retail reached an all-time high in 2020, with 256 customers, 128 suspects, 123 employees, and 16 security officers dying in stores or parking lots.

CLEVELAND, OH – January 19, 2021 – The D&D Daily – retail’s leading digital news source for Loss Prevention, Asset Protection and Cyber Security – released its industry-exclusive 2020 U.S. Retail Violent Fatalities Report, with support from Interface Security Systems.

Based on publicly reported data, the new report shows fatalities and violent incidents in retail were at an all-time high in 2020 and up roughly 40% since 2016. There were 485 fatal retail incidents last year, resulting in 523 deaths across the United States, reflecting 256 customers, 128 suspects, 123 employees/associates, and 16 law enforcement/security officers.  

The Retail Violent Fatalities Report outlines a five-year trend of violence in the retail industry and reveals the stunning reality that COVID-19 shutdowns have had virtually no impact on bringing down violence. In fact, violent trends have continued unabated since 2016. 

“With murder rates and gun violence trends skyrocketing across America, it’s no surprise to see fatality rates continue to climb in Retail America as well – especially given the protests and rioting around racial injustice, the historical unemployment rates, the business failures from the COVID-19 shutdowns, and the digital transformation retail is going through,” said Gus Downing, Publisher & Editor of the D&D Daily.

With the customary retail sectors that typically experience violent criminal acts for the most part unaffected by the shutdowns, there was no break in violent activity for retail. In 2020, a record 70% of violent retail fatalities occurred during the commission of a crime (robberies, burglaries, thefts).

“One alarming trend was the gradual movement of fatalities occurring in the parking lots and off-premises to occurring more now in-store, virtually even with parking lots,” said Downing, a 40+ year veteran of the retail loss prevention industry. “This has resulted in more aggressive consumers, which has been increasingly reported over the last two years.”

2020 Retail Violent Fatalities Report: Key Takeaways

- 523 Retail Fatalities in 2020 – Up 40% in Last 5 Years

- 123 Associate Fatalities in 2020 – Up 41% from 2019

- 76% of Deaths are Innocent Victims (Customers, Associates, LP/LE)

- 24% of Deaths are Suspects

- 48% Killed in Parking Lots

- 50% of Fatalities Occurred in Convenience Stores or Restaurants

- California & Texas Continue to Rank as Top States

- Philadelphia Overtook Houston as Top City

“All in all, it was a difficult year for the nation’s retailers and the violent fatalities are continuing to increase,” said Downing. “However, while our society itself is struggling to find answers and resolutions to these murder rates and gun violence, retailers can find some solace in the fact that Retail’s 5% increase year over year in 2020 is a far cry from the numbers the majority of major cities are experiencing.”

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Reporting Methodology:
The D&D Daily gathers retail-store specific information from public news media sources throughout the United States and reports it daily through our industry-renowned e-newsletter. We do not survey any retailers or third parties nor collect information from any retail executives. All of this information is available through public news media outlets. We do not claim nor does it represent all such incidents or deaths that may occur in retail locations or retail corporate facilities, as many may not be reported in the news media depending on a number of variables outside of our control. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information reported in the various news media outlets. We do not name any retailer, retail executive, suspect, or victim.

About The D&D Daily:
The D&D Daily is the #1 daily digital news source for the retail industry focused on retail trends, Loss Prevention, Asset Protection and Cyber Security. Established in 2010, this free daily e-newsletter is designed to deliver the information, news, trends, retail crime data, technology developments, executive movement, and jobs every day. Using a 2-minute drill type format, this ‘#1 copy-paste tool’ allows retail executives to see what’s important, relevant and critical, share it throughout the organization quickly and easily, while saving the executives time and providing them with the information they need to reduce shrink, increase profitability and help make America’s retail stores safe. Visit and sign up for your free email.

For Media Inquiries, contact Gus Downing at 440-942-0671 or [email protected]