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Retail Trust sees fourfold increase in calls to its helpline following riots

Scenes of looting overnight in London and other cities in the UK have led to a to a direct and heavy upturn in calls to the Retail Trust Helpline from employees, shopkeepers and managers not sure how to deal with the emotional aftermath.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail Trust sees fourfold increase in calls to its helpline following riots

Practical issues around damage, looting and store protection may be at the forefront of news headlines, but the human capital cost of upset for staff and the people who own or work in the affected stores can be a core element of hidden impact, said the Retail Trust.

The retail charity said that calls to its Helpline and website were up fourfold and tenfold respectively. As a result, the charity has published guidance on how to deal with serious incidents on a people impact level whether employee, manager, store owner or employer.

Retail Trust CEO Nigel J L Rothband explained: “We have had calls from people who have been directly affected, from families worried about their security of their relatives, and from individuals worried about the spread of the riots to the parts of town in which they work, their personal security, their jobs and what might happen next.

“The effect of such extreme impact on their workplaces can be in the same traumatic vein as suffering a robbery or violence in store, invading as such activity does, the personal space in which people are used to feeling safe and comfortable.

“We are here to help all those affected directly or indirectly by the riots, and our advice is based on our track record as a charity in delivering an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for large and medium sized retailers. EAPs cover the counselling side of HR support for employees who have concerns and needs above and beyond the usual remit of HR teams.”

The Retail Trust Helpline is free, confidential and independent. Freephone 0808 801 0808, or people can Text ‘Helpline’ to 88010, or email helpline@retailtrust.org.uk

To date the riots have affected a host of independent retailers as well as Currys, Carpetright, HMV, LIDL, Carphone Warehouse, Comet, Argos, B&Q, Next, Asda Living, PC World, Footlocker, H&M, Bhs, Tesco, Boots, JD Sports, The Body Shop, o2, Orange, Halfords and ALDI.

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