Superdrug has launched a new initiative to support and protect its employees following a rise in aggressive behaviour from shoppers during the Covid-19 crisis.
The retailer says its employees have been faced with a growing number of negative reactions to social distancing and Covid-secure measures, which has led to a 21% YOY increase in aggressive behaviour during the pandemic.
Aggression towards retail staff has been a growing issue across the whole sector in the past year, with the ACS 2020 Crime Report finding that 83% of staff in the convenience sector experienced verbal abuse throughout 2019. Furthermore, the 2020 Retail Crime Survey revealed that they recorded an average of 424 violent or abusive incidents each day in the period before March 2020. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, this worrying trend has been shown to be rising even more.
To combat this, Superdrug is pledging to support and protect its employees during these difficult times, adopting a zero-tolerance stance to any aggression shown towards retail colleagues.
Superdrug will be actively encouraging shoppers to be mindful and respectful of staff when shopping in a Superdrug store, asking them to be kind above all else. Customers will be reminded of this as they shop in store via impactful point of sale and Superdrug’s in-store radio.
As part of the pledge, Superdrug is asking its customers to maintain social distancing from other customers and staff members at all times and asking people to avoid touching and opening products they are not going to purchase.
Joanne Mackie, Customer and People Director at Superdrug, says: “At Superdrug, we are proud to be continuing to support our amazing store colleagues with the Be Kind, Shop Kind initiative. As an essential retailer we have remained open during the Covid-19 pandemic and our store colleagues have worked tirelessly to ensure health and beauty essentials have been available and accessible to our customers. The safety and protection of our store teams is our top priority, and we are focused on taking steps to ensure that all of our valued store colleagues feel safe and happy when at work.”
The new initiative follows Superdrug’s online Be Kind campaign that launched in July, which announced Superdrug’s zero-tolerance policy towards online negativity across its social channels.