Many crisis events are, by their nature, impossible to predict. However, the impact they have on retailers can be dramatically curtailed if the organization is prepared.
f our leadership demonstrates their belief in and commitment to a formal company safety policy, that commitment will cascade throughout the organization.
Among television business announcers doing stock market play-by-play, tit-for-tat tariffs and the "slowing Chinese economy" are frequent causes of shrill alerts and fretful dissection.
In the court case that followed a robbery carried out by a sixteen-year-old in 2015, where a female lone worker was threatened with a hammer, police commented, "It was a terrifying experience for the member of staff, who was the only person in the store at the time, and she has not worked since."
Common flashpoints for retail conflict and violence include confronting suspected thieves, refusing sales, and dealing with antisocial behavior. Nothing new here, but the prevalence of each appears to be increasing.
For the third year running, a poll of the American public, on the subject of potential crisis events, shows it is most worried about natural disasters—by a wide margin.
Warren Buffett has been quoted as saying, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." In the digital age, social media has probably turned that five minutes into less than two minutes.
If employees feel they don’t have an audience to which they can report safety concerns, they may instead turn to safety enforcement agencies.
In November 2017, on Black Friday on Britain's busiest street, the "sound of gunfire and explosions" created a panic among Christmas shoppers convinced the city was under a terror attack. Dozens of people were hurt in the ensuing stampede.
While schools, churches, hotels, and movie theaters have traditionally been the most targeted public establishments, large retail establishments face similar risk.