Woman standing in a store making a call on her mobile

While no workplace is safe from violence, working in the retail sector has a number of unique risks. Factors such as frequent cash handling, night shifts, valuable merchandise and easy accessibility to escape routes means that retail can be more susceptible to instances of violence against staff.

What are the risks?

We’ll no doubt all have times during our careers when we’re required to deal with an unhappy or aggressive customer. On occasion these interactions will result in violence against you or one of your colleagues. Violence within the retail workplace are often categorised into four distinct groups:

  • Criminal intent
  • Client or customer incidents
  • Worker to worker incidents
  • Domestic violence incidents.

Remember violence can be either physical or verbal abuse. It can also include written threats or harassment, physical violence such as assaults as well as incidents related to bullying or sexual harassment. Being subject to violence can be unsettling and impact on your own wellbeing.

This short animation has been developed by the Association of Convenience Stores to help you deal with incidents in store that could lead to violence and abuse.


Assistance from retailTRUST

We can support you through this challenging time with in-the-moment emotional support and counselling. To speak to one of our advisors, please call our confidential helpline on 0808 801 0808 or email the team at [email protected]

If you are a manager, find out how we can support you and your team following a critical incident.

Managing a critical incident