Retail is a business; and businesses are in business to make money and turn a profit. But we all know the actual process is much more complicated than that. When looking at the retail industry from a global perspective, we must consider what it takes to build a successful retail business and make that business most profitable. Looking at some of the core concepts:
- We must take positive steps to establish an identity that will attract customers. Establishing our identity sets the tone for everything that follows.
- We want to provide a quality product at an attractive price. Consumers will look for value for their dollar, and if they don’t get it, they will simply shop somewhere else.
- We must display product in a way that makes it desirable to purchase. This concept must reach beyond the actual display of merchandise and extend to the general appeal, appearance, and efficiency of the store.
- We must take steps to make our customers feel important, to show them we will take care of them, we value their opinions and their business, and want them to return and offer their future business.
- We must provide an environment where customers and employees feel comfortable, confident, safe, and secure. Our business must provide an atmosphere where customers want to shop and should reflect the culture that best fits our core customer.
The most successful retail operations recognize these simple but critical concepts as essential. And while retail is a dynamic business, it can also be a delicate venture. Many retail operations that falter or fail typically do so because they have in some way lost sight of one or more of these core business concepts.
Unfortunately, one of those concepts has drawn considerable attention in recent years, causing significant concern for retailers, our customers, and our employees. Workplace violence refers to any act or threat of physical violence, abuse, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs in the work setting. It can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, contractors, customers, and other visitors. It can even impact those working from home. Regardless of how it manifests itself, workplace violence is a growing concern for employers and employees around the world.
Workplace violence can strike anywhere at any time; no one is immune. But while incidents of workplace violence can occur in most every working environment, there are certain types of businesses that are more prone to issues. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail employers have reported experiencing some form of workplace violence at a rate substantially higher than other private industry establishments.
Why? Research has identified factors that may increase the risk of violence for some workers at certain worksites. This would include working:
- In a setting where money is exchanged with the public.
- In positions where goods and services are delivered.
- With volatile and/or unstable people.
- In depressed economic communities and/or areas with high crime rates.
- Alone, in small groups, or in isolated areas.
- In stressful or unpredictable environments.
- In industries that provide services or care to customers.
- Where alcohol is served or sold.
- Late at night or early in the morning.
- In positions with extensive interaction with the public.
Any number of situations in the work environment can cause an escalation that leads to workplace violence. It may be the result of stress, threats, harassment, bullying, emotional abuse, intimidation, and other forms of misconduct in the workplace; but may also involve non-work-related situations such as domestic violence, stalking, or other incidents that make their way into the work setting. Workplace violence can be inflicted by an abusive employee, a manager, supervisor, co-worker, customer, family member, or those involved in other criminal activity.
So, just how serious is the problem? In addition to the incidents that we are aware of, how many go unreported? How is the problem impacting our customers and our employees? How strong are the programs that we currently have in place to combat the risk to our customers and employees? How comfortable are our employees that these programs sufficiently address the problem?
Please Share Your Opinions
To help us find some of those answers, LP Magazine is asking that anyone and everyone across the retail industry take part in our survey. This is an opportunity for you to become a valuable part of this necessary discussion.
We realize that this will take a small investment of your time to complete, but we also feel that it’s essential that your voice is heard and your opinions are shared. This is your chance to share your opinions and influence real change across the industry. The best way to influence change is to speak up, and your insights can and will make a difference.
We anticipate that it will take approximately 10 minutes to complete this survey, so get comfortable, strap in, open your mind, and start your engines. In addition to the questions, we have also provided areas where you can expand upon your answers.
We strongly encourage your open and honest responses and urge you to share the survey with others you know across the retail industry. The identities of all those participating in the survey will remain strictly confidential and will not be shared.
Once the responses are gathered, a summary article and an analysis of the survey results will be made available in a Special Report that will be offered FREE by LP Magazine. Participation in the survey will close on Friday, February 10th.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Ready to get started? Let’s do this!