Superdrug is planning to issue its staff with body cameras as it prepares for a further surge in violence towards its staff during the Christmas shopping period.
The health and beauty retailer says that it has already seen a 21 per cent year-on-year rise in aggressive behaviour towards its employees this year, largely due to negative reactions to social distancing and mask wearing requirements.
As non-essential retail prepares to re-open this week seeing shoppers flood back to physical retail stores, Superdrug is bracing for an “even bigger spike” in violence over the coming weeks.
According to Superdrug, it has pinpointed 20 locations across the UK which showed a “markedly increased number of incidents” in which it plans to issue its staff with body cameras to keep them safe.
It comes as Superdrug extends its ‘Be Kind, Shop Kind’ campaign, launched earlier this year, to encourage its customers to ‘Shop Kind at Christmas’.
As part of the campaign, it will launch individual incentives at problem stores encouraging shoppers to pledge their support “to ending violence and aggression against retail workers via a QR code”.
“We have had several incidents this year which include being threatened to be stabbed, multiple verbal racial and homophobic abuse incidents towards my team,” a Superdrug employee from Bristol said.
“We even had a brick thrown through our shop window at the team and my Assistant Store Manager was punched in the chest by a disgruntled customer.”
Another employee added: “I think “Be Kind, Shop Kind” is a great initiative. It makes me feel like someone out there is looking out for me and the daily challenges we face in retail. If it just makes one person stop and think about how they approach their shopping trip then it’s all worthwhile.”