The Association of Convenience Stores (ASC) has launched a new campaign urging the public to “ShopKind” as the reopening of more stores and shops across the country gets underway.
The news follows reports of abuse and violence towards shopworkers growing to at least 400 incidents daily.
The campaign urges the public to be mindful of the shopworkers’ essential role in supporting people during these difficult times, and emphasises the need to treat workers and also other customers with respect, kindness and gratitude.
Last month, the association’s crime report revealed that over the past year there have been more than 1.2 million incidents of verbal abuse, and around 40,000 incidents of violence against people working in convenience stores.
Additionally, two-thirds of retailers (65%) experienced Covid-related threats, with the most common causes of abuse being: reminding customers to wear face coverings, reminding customers of social distancing measures and queueing outside stores.
Home secretary, Priti Patel, said: “Throughout the pandemic, shop staff have been the lifeline for many in our communities, and I am grateful for their vital service.
“Violence and abuse towards shop workers is utterly despicable and unacceptable, everyone has the right to feel safe at work.”
James Lowman, chief executive at the ASC, added: “While the majority of customers have been incredibly supportive and embody the messages of the ShopKind campaign, there are still too many people being abusive and violent to retailers and their colleagues.
“We fully support ShopKind, which serves as an important reminder of the essential work that convenience stores have done over the last year and continue to do as the rest of retail reopens.”