Retailers urge shoppers to #shopkind as survey shows millions seen violence toward shopworkers

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Retailers are urging shoppers to #ShopKind when they visit high streets this Christmas, as new polling has revealed that over one third of shoppers (38 per cent) have witnessed violence and abuse against shop workers.

With at least two-thirds of consumers flocking back to the high streets, retailers, the Home Office and charity Crimestoppers are reminding customers to be kind to shop workers and fellow customers. The latest retail industry data suggests that 450 shop workers are abused each day and it’s feared this may rise during the busy festive season, ACS said.

The #ShopKind campaign urges the public to be mindful of shop workers’ essential role serving the public, and emphasises that workers should be treated with respect, kindness and gratitude. Over 86 per cent of shoppers recognise that shop workers face a much higher workload during the Christmas period, but there remains a minority of people that are aggressive and, in the worst cases, physically violent towards people working in shops.

The campaign is supported by major high street retailers as well as the nation’s independent shopkeepers and the shop workers’ union Usdaw.

Extending his support to #Shopkind, minister for Policing Kit Malthouse MP said, “The festive season should be a time of respect and goodwill, particularly for the retail staff whose hard work allows us all to enjoy a merry Christmas.

“It is completely unacceptable for anyone to threaten or assault shop workers, and this Government won’t stand for it – we are taking action including by backing the #ShopKind campaign, which provide better support to retail workers and encourage customers to treat them with dignity.”

Gareth Lewis, Loss Prevention and Security Manager at Southern Co-op said, “Christmas is not always a happy time of year for everyone and the pressure can become overwhelming. Our store colleagues often bear the brunt of this as it quickly turns into rage and an unacceptable verbal attack.

“Whilst there have been some improvements in crime levels, sadly, verbal abuse has increased across our 200 stores by 26 per cent over the last 12 months compared to the previous year. So, while we continue to invest in and take action to protect our colleagues, we would urge everyone to think and shop kind this Christmas.”