Retail Snap – Common Respect for Retail WorkersOn March 6, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
Retail Snap. This needs to stop right now! Violence and verbal abuse of retail
staff is on the rise. A national survey conducted by the SDA
surveyed over 6,000 workers and shockingly revealed that 85 percent of retail staff experienced verbal abuse from a customer. 15 percent experienced physical violence and 11 percent experienced sexual harassment or abuse.
Of these workers surveyed 71 percent are women and 41 percent are aged 17 or under.
It was highlighted in the news again recently with this terrible footage that
occurred in another supermarket. Customer shoplifting has increased by 16 percent
in Australia in the last two years. In Australia thieves are stealing two
billion dollars of stock over the last year. Meat, baby formula and high dollar
volume products are on the shopping list for thieves! I had a customer complaint the other day that absolutely verbally abused me on an email about a product
that we didn’t have. Like I understand the frustrations with not having
products but you can always get a raincheck. We live in a highly strung, highly
paced environment and we expect to get things instantly.
Unfortunately drug and alcohol consumption are definitely on the
increase. These combined can cause explosive and difficult situations on
the shop floor. Violence against retailers is getting out of hand, this is unacceptable in any work environment. So where did the rules of
respect go? I mean, not much has changed since I was a kid going into a
store. I don’t understand where someone can go totally off their ‘Nana because
there’s not a product in the store, hey it’s a product you will live. We’re lucky
enough to live in this beautiful country like we are. But the increase in violence
and the increase of verbal abuse and physical abuse, to not only my staff, but
to other retailing staff out there it’s got to stop. And the footage that you’ve
just seen is absolutely disgraceful! People fearing for their lives working
in a supermarket, come on! Where does it stop?
Stricter penalties need to be in place for people that continue to abuse young checkout
operators. I can’t see the amount of times that I’ve seen customers abuse
very young checkout operators for instance or young staff assistants.
You know no one’s paid enough to cop a verbal abuse because you don’t have a
particular product. It’s simply not acceptable and people need to have a
look at what they’re saying and understand, yeah we all live in a
fast-paced life. I totally understand that every single person watching this
is extremely busy but that doesn’t give you the right to abuse someone because
you’ve had a bad day. The retail community’s got a stick up and look
after it’s staff because no one should be abused or physically abused while
they’re coming to work, especially in the environment of a supermarket, in fact any
environment. So when will this stop? I want to be on the front foot of making
sure there is no violence in retail!