Media Releases

Please treat retail workers with respect – Retail NZ launches Declaration on Violence & Anti-social Behaviour

8 November 2021

Retailers throughout the country have come together today at the Retail NZ Summit on Violence and Anti-social behaviour in Parliament’s Grand Hall to signify their commitment to keep their employees and contractors safe.

“Rates of aggression, violence and anti-social behaviour from members of the public have doubled over the past year, on top of significant increases over the last few years,” Greg Harford, Retail NZ Chief Executive said today. “This is having a big impact on the wellbeing of everyone working in the sector, and retailers have come together today to discuss solutions.

“Retail workers have the right to come to work and go home every day without feeling unsafe. However, retail teams are often threatened and abused in store, online or over the phone, and are increasingly being subjected to physical or even sexual assault in-store. This is completely unacceptable, and retailers are asking everyone to #shopnice.

“Retailers are committed to providing great customer service and treating our customers with respect, but also to keeping employees, contractors, other customers and visitors to stores safe and well. In a new Declaration on Violence and Anti-social Behaviour, retailers are asking customers to treat workers with respect, use polite and non-threatening language at all times, and comply with team member requests.

“This is especially important as Auckland retail stores begin to reopen from Wednesday. Some people may be frustrated by new requirements around masks and distancing, but retailers are not prepared to accept sexual or racist harassment of any kind, offensive or abusive language, threats or violence. People engaged in anti-social behaviour can expect to be asked to leave stores. Let’s #shopnice and treat everyone with respect.”

Click here to see the Declaration. The Summit and declaration is the first step in a programme of work being led by Retail NZ. The next step is to confirm the Retail NZ Sector Action Plan on In-store Violence and Aggression with the retail sector, the government and relevant public sector agencies.

For further information, please contact:
Greg Harford
Chief Executive, Retail NZ
[email protected]
027 243 2842

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