The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is today announcing its support for the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association’s (SDA) ‘No One Deserves a Serve’ campaign to treat retail workers with respect throughout the busy festive season.
According to a recent survey of over 1,000 employees conducted by the SDA, found an overwhelming 87% of workers had experienced verbal abuse or aggressive behaviour from customers.
Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said although the Christmas period can be a stressful time for consumers, it is important to approach retail workers with patience and respect.
“With Christmas being the peak season for trade, shoppers will be pouring into retail stores to purchase the ultimate gifts for their friends and family and retail staffed are primed and ready to assist,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“In the rush to finalise their gift shopping, shoppers should pause and remember that retailers will be working tirelessly to ensure that each individual customer receives exceptional customer service and their desired products in time for the big day.”
“While this can be a stressful time for many shoppers, staff in retail stores are there to help and should not be made the target of bullying, abuse or harassment; no one deserves a serve.”
The ARA believe this behaviour is unacceptable and that retail workers should be treated as equals, irrespective of age, race or gender. The SDA survey also found that 41% of respondents of the survey were 17 years or under and 71% were women.
“This bustling festive season provides the perfect opportunity for young retail workers to earn extra wages and can even be the initial stepping-stone into a thriving career,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“As a result, consumers need to be mindful of this and be patient and co-operative with retail staff during this busy time, because at the end of the day retail workers are people too.”
The ARA will continue to support the SDA’s campaign and advocate to ensure that during the pre-Christmas and summer sales periods, employees are working within a safe environment during this peak trading season.
“Although Christmas can cultivate stress amongst consumers and retailers, it is important to slow down and remember that Christmas is the season of giving and celebrating with friends and family,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Retail staff often give up time with family over the festive season to help make Christmas come alive for their customers and they should be commended, not abused for their efforts.”