08 September, 2022
The convenience sector is an easy target for robberies and violence. In the UK, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) ran a 2022 Crime Report that states £246 million has been invested into crime prevention during the last year alone. These measures can help prevent violent attacks like organised robberies or impulsive one-time shoplifters and save convenience stores time and money.
Crime constantly happens in the convenience sector, with the ACS report stating that 970,000 incidents of theft occurred in the industry in the last year. Physical attacks in convenience stores are common and can have a lasting impact and cost on individual stores, affecting staff recruitment, additional expenditure on marketing and HR, heavier workloads, and additional pressures around targets.
There are both short-term and long-term consequences following a convenience store attack, from immediate effects like necessary repairs to longer issues like spending more on marketing and recruitment to attract staff and customers to the store.
Staff may no longer feel safe coming in for their shifts following an attack. Poor staff attendance affects the daily operations, a certain level of staff is needed to maintain excellent customer service levels and ensure stock is replenished. When staff experience stress or operate under pressure, it has a knock-on effect that can impact the entire store.
Police involvement can affect convenience stores, no matter how big or small the incident was. If a staff member reports a shoplifter, the police will have to arrive and view CCTV footage of the incident. They’ll sometimes interview staff members who were involved too, taking them off the shopfloor and impacting the store’s revenue.
If it’s been a more significant incident, the shop may have to close while the police carry out their investigation. It could be considered an active crime scene, resulting in lost revenue and limited trading hours.
Staff may require time off following an incident, but that is not the only cost convenience stores must contend with. There may be mass resignations following an incident, resulting in additional recruitment costs. There may also be wider fallout within the community, making it more difficult to recruit staff due to safety concerns.
After an attack on a convenience store, it’s often necessary to run risk assessments to minimise the possibility of a repeat incident. A full risk assessment of the store is time-consuming and can also take up valuable resources. There is also the necessity of writing detailed reports detailing the event, another task that takes up time employees should be spending on stock replenishment and customer service.
To manage the aftermath of a convenience store attack and part of the ongoing investigation, many businesses must run risk awareness sessions with staff members. That involves a complete refresh on available security equipment and the different attacks likely to occur in a retail environment. For chains and larger operations, this can come at a considerable expense.
Violent incidents can impact the reputation of the store among staff members and customers. Customers do not want to shop in a store where they don’t feel safe. For national companies, an attack on one store can impact every store under the same name and drive up marketing and PR costs to mitigate the damage.
Implementing additional security equipment is a necessity following an attack, but it’s important to implement the right measures. CCTV, for instance, is expensive and a good deterrent, but cannot physically protect staff or stock from an attack.
Safetell has a range of specialist security screens designed to protect staff, without disrupting the regular flow of business. These screens have been created with customers in mind and provide quick and easy access to cash for staff to empty the devices securely.
There’s also a range of security counters and screens made from manual attack resistant materials built to withstand physical attacks. Safetell works with businesses to design suitable screens for their stores, to match the size of each individual checkout area.
If you place an order with Safetell to improve the security in your convenience store, you could have a new security system in place in weeks to ensure the safety of your staff and customers.