In the latest development in the campaign against violence towards retail workers, 100 executives from the sector have signed an open letter demanding government action.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic abuse of shop staff has risen, due in large part to the slew of rules that employees are expected to enforce and the misdirected displeasure of some customers.

Noel Coyle, CEO of Fraser Hart, and Pippa Wicks, executive director of John Lewis, are among the 100 retail executives who have signed the letter to the Prime Minister.


The letter calls on Boris Johnson to support an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that would tackle escalating violence and abuse against retail workers.

The Bill has its report stage and third reading in Parliament on Monday 5 July.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “Retailer workers are facing violence and abuse every day just for doing their jobs – keeping customers safe during the pandemic, checking ID, and confronting shoplifters.

“Behind each of these statistics is a person, a family, colleagues and communities that have to cope with this trauma.

“No-one should go to work fearing for their safety, yet many retail workers have come to see it as part of the job – this can’t go on.”

Read more about the rise in retail worker abuse below:

‘Surge in violence against shopworkers must end’ say campaigners ahead of reopening