Confronting shoplifters is one of the most common triggers for abuse against retail staff

Retailers, the Home Office and industry groups have joined forces to support #ShopKind Week, taking place from 6 – 10 May 2024.

The #ShopKind campaign aims to remind customers about the importance of being considerate to shopworkers and each other.

UK-wide polling highlights that 31% of customers are more anxious when they shop and 36% of customers have witnessed violence and abuse towards shop worker while shopping.

Figures from the latest Association of Convenience Stores’ Crime Report found that almost 9 in 10 colleagues working in local shops have experienced verbal abuse over the last year.

According to the Crime Report, the most frequently cited triggers for abuse are: 

1.   Encountering shop thieves  

2.   Asking customers to verify their age

3.   Refusing to serve intoxicated customers

The #ShopKind campaign is backed by the Home Office and supported by over 100 leading high street retailers, the nation’s shopkeepers and trade union USDAW.

The British Retail Consortium’s annual Crime Survey also found that there are over 1300 incidents of violence and abuse every day in the retail sector.

This comes after the government announced that it would be introducing a separate offence for assaulting a retail worker, building on previous sentencing guidelines that made assaulting someone working in a store an aggravated offence.

Retailers looking to get involved with the campaign during #Shopkind Week (6 – 10 May) can download supporting materials from the National Business Crime Centre website at 

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “Colleagues in shops are there to help and deserve to be treated with respect, and there is never a good excuse to be abusive towards them. We’re pleased that there is such widespread continued support in the retail sector and from the Home Office for the Shopkind campaign, which we hope will urge frustrated shoppers to think twice before an incident escalates into abuse.”

National Business Crime Centre Lead Superintendent Patrick Holdaway said: “Shop workers play a key role in our local our communities yet every day we know many of them face verbal and physical abuse. The NBCC is working hard with police and partners to make retail spaces safer for employees and customers. The ShopKind campaign is an important reminder to be kind to the people working in retail who are there to help us and to show shopworkers that they have the support of their employers, the police and the public.”

Concerned about retail crime? Register now for our upcoming webinar that will analyse the impact of shop theft and abuse on shopworkers as well as offer up best practice advice on what retailers need to do to protect themselves. Register here now.