An uptick in the amount of abuse retail staff are facing could damage business and take a toll on employees, an industry report has revealed.
OnBuy.com, a UK-based online retail marketplace, has published its annual Independent Retail Report and revealed that in 2017 there were 1,433 incidents of assaults and threats per 1,000 wholesale and retail premises.
The report claims almost two-thirds of shop workers were verbally abused, while 40% were threatened and approximately 250 retail staff were victims of violent assaults every single day over the last 12 months. According to OnBuy, abuse and assaults are up by 25% and threats by 38%.
It was found that 14% of wholesale and retail businesses experienced anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the last 12 months.
Victims of ASB were asked how, if at all, the experience of anti-social behaviour impacted on the business at their premises. 38% agreed it had had little to no impact, but a significant 62% admitted it had had a negative impact, with 34% of victims stating they felt it had a financial impact on business and a further 29% saying it had a negative impact on employees.
OnBuy discovered the antisocial behaviour affecting the wholesale and retail sector the most, in the last 12 months, is ‘youths hanging about on the street’(41%), followed by ‘people feeling intimidated, being threatened or verbally abused’ at 39%.
Cas Paton, managing director of OnBuy.com, commented: “What’s most worrying is that in this current climate of lawless behaviour and seemingly minimal consequence, the anti-social behaviour experienced by those in the wholesale and retail comes as no real surprise.
“It may be the government needs to revisit its stance on the leniency of some of the sentences for behaviours like those listed, or put stronger, firmer measures in place to reassure staff they are protected, and consequence is on the cards for those who act out inappropriately.”