Leading beauty brands call on Government to tackle retail crime

by | Oct 5, 2023

More than 80 retailers, including Space NK, Boots and Sephora have called on the Home Secretary to prevent ‘unacceptable surge’ in retail crime

According to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Annual Crime Report, incidents of violence and abuse towards retail staff had nearly doubled in 2021. What’s more, retail theft is said to have reached a staggering cost of £953m, despite more than £700m being spent on crime prevention.

In light of these findings, the BRC has called on government to make a standalone offence of assaulting or abusing a retail worker, with tougher sentences for offenders. The letter also calls for ‘greater prioritisation of retail crime by police across the UK’, following a drop in response to crime. 

Sephora, Boots, Space NK, Superdrug and The Perfume Shop are all signatories, and make up a large portion of the beauty footprint on UK high streets. What’s more, all of these brands are propelling their bricks and mortar strategies, with Sephora opening a second store in October and Boots launching its first beauty-only store. 

In the letter, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium said: ‘It is vital that action is taken before the scourge of retail crime gets any worse. We are seeing a torrent of abuse aimed at hardworking shop staff.’ 

‘It is simply unacceptable – no one should have to go to work fearing for their safety. We need the government to stand with the millions of retail workers who kept us safe and fed during the pandemic – and support them, as those workers supported us.’ 

In response, Chief Policy Officer of the British Beauty Council commented: ‘We support the British Retail Consortium, beauty signatories and other retailers in their call for greater protection for shop staff. Beauty’s influence across UK shopping areas is highly concentrated, so much so the sector is often referenced as the ‘saviour of the high street’. 

‘What’s more, according to the Value of Beauty 2023, beauty retailers contribute £3.3bn to the UK’s GDP. Thus, we must ensure that those working in the retail sector are protected and feel safe to pursue their career.’ 

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