I agree with everything you've said.
What you reference about little Boutiques and stores dropping certain items because of consumer return fraud and other issues is happening, it's just happening quietly. One day consumers will wake up and not be able to buy things they love.
Another problem is Organized Retail Crime Activity which is just one of the other major problems retailers are struggling with. As recently reported in Accessories Magazine NRF has impacted the majority of major store. It's alarming to note that this crime is migrating to e-commerce sites.
Organized Retail Crime is a $30 billion a year problem which still poses
serious threats to retailers of all sizes throughout the country..
criminals are also finding ways to manipulate well-intentioned policies
for innocent shoppers who need to return items to the store. According
to the survey, more than three-quarters (76.9%) of respondents say they
have experienced thieves returning stolen merchandise for store credit,
to then sell that merchandise credit to secondary market buyers or
sellers–unchanged from the 77.8% last year.
The intricate scheme
that criminals today use to manipulate and defraud retailers could
eventually impact how retailers accept returned items, which is
extremely unfortunate for innocent shoppers who simply need to return
something back to the store.
Top Cities for Organized Retail Crime Activity
have remained top locations for ORC activity for the past several years,
including Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.
The top 10 locations
that retailers say have the most criminal activity are (by rank):
Add to all of that the way government targets small business in a variety of ways including a higher risk of tax audits, being forced to participate in mandatory government surveys and fill out excessive amounts of paperwork, no wonder small retailers are fighting for their live.
It's not just consumers, its a whole range of things including competition from cheap Chinese and related importers.
Edited by gendolly - May 30 2014 at 3:49pm