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October in retail: Rising crime levels are concerning

  • Opinion
  • October 5, 2016
  • Scott Fisher
October in retail: Rising crime levels are concerning

Welcome to October. Some of us will be looking forward to the Labour Day holiday on Monday 24 October, but for others it will be just another day at the office. Whichever applies to you, I hope it’s a good day. Check out this month’s Talking Shop for information about entitlements that apply to all staff who will be working on this public holiday. We also explain about employing extra staff on fixed term contracts to cope with busy periods such as Christmas.

I have been concerned about what we have been hearing from our members about shop theft.  While it is not new, the frequency of incidents and the brazen nature of the theft is increasing. Members are also telling us that there seems to be an increase in violence during these incidents. We know that many shop thieves are amateur opportunists, but we also hear that they are increasingly organised, with many gangs stealing to order. Some even purchase some items from a store, ‘topping up’ their basket with a few items that they don’t pay for. To a retailer, this loss adds up very quickly. Ultimately, it costs the New Zealand economy around $1.3 billion each year – going straight into the pockets of criminals! That’s why we are actively working with retailers and the Police to address the problem. You can read more about this in Talking Shop.

Last month we reported on the changes to the Shop Trading Hours Act, around trading on Easter Sunday. While it is not a perfect solution, overall, the Bill is likely to create further opportunities for retailers to serve their customers.  We know that not all retailers will want to open on Easter Sunday, and in some places, it is likely that most will not. However, with local elections coming up, we have surveyed every Council candidate in the country, to gauge their level of support ahead of the election.  You may have seen the results picked up by the media in your region.  You can see the full survey results by region here.

Where an area is in demand for shops to be open on Easter Sunday, we would like to see councils adopt the policy which allows retailers a choice. Retail NZ is in favour of the ultimate decision to open or not in the hands of the retailers.

With Guy Fawkes Day coming up early next month, we want to give retailers dealing in fireworks a reminder on the rules for selling them. You can only sell or display fireworks to people aged 18 and over, for four days prior to and including Guy Fawkes Day. We have more guidelines on the rules in this month’s Talking Shop.

On the business partner front we’re delighted to bring on new partners with iPayroll, RISQ, SealedAir and PayStation recently joining. click here to see all our partners.

Our partnership with Spark has recently ended and we’d like to acknowledge their longstanding and much appreciated support and partnership. There will be no impact to our members. Any currently receiving benefits will continue to receive these until the time they choose to migrate onto new plans that aren’t compatible with the offers / benefits.

We are currently assessing other telecommunication options so will keep you posted.

This column was republished from Retail NZ's blog

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