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How can we better protect our retail workers as shop floor crime rises?
26 March 2021
Retail crime has always been prevalent; in fact, reports suggest that crime has indeed been rising over the recent years, but has since been further accelerated as a result of Covid-19. Sadly, it’s also expected that retail crime will continue to increase, particularly as we face social and economic downturn as a result of the global pandemic. In such pressured times, it's imperative that retailers continue to operate as efficiently as possible, and that means tackling shop floor crime. Last year, it was recorded that crime against convenience retailers cost the sector an estimated total of £211m. But most importantly, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of those working on the shop floor must be a priority for all retail organisations as incidents of violence and abuse against them increases.
So what can retail stores do to better protect their employees?
The Co-op, for example, has turned to technology and connectivity to tackle crime and violence against employees, as part of its larger ‘Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities’ campaign. Along with further investment into intelligent CCTV systems and forensic deterrents, part of its campaign focuses on the better use of connectivity among staff using digital headsets, explaining that: “a key area for the Co-op has been in-store connectivity, which enables colleagues to talk to each other in different parts of our stores and to others who can help in circumstances where there is an incident. We have spent £4.5m on new headsets which are now in all of our stores.”
The benefits of improving connectivity with the use of wireless headsets are not only proven to reduce shrinkage due to petty theft, they also offer shop workers reassurance when the communication systems extend to a 24 hour monitoring service, meaning that essential real-time support and expertise for frontline staff when a dangerous situation occurs can be conveyed. Empowering retailers to reinforce the training already in place and ensuring employees follow protocol to minimise their risk of being hurt is essential during a frightening situation.
And with increasing levels of violence in-store occurring as a direct result of confronting shoplifters, connecting employees with security experts and, by default, the police, not only acts as a deterrent to those with more violent intent, but enables the correctly trained individual to intervene and confront the criminal.
While there is no overnight fix to eradicating retail crime, there are solutions that can be put in place to help promote the better safety of shop workers. No worker should be subject to physical or verbal abuse.
Get in touch with us today if you’d like to know more about how our retail headsets can support you.
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