The Paris attacks are now more than two weeks in the past, but their legacy lives on. Distressingly, it also lives on in the stores of independent convenience retailers up and down the UK.
In our December 1 issue Retail Express spoke to a number of retailers of Asian backgrounds, who told us they’ve seen an increase in verbal attacks since that fateful night in France.
‘Retail crime’ has, quite rightly, become a focus for trade associations like the ACS and NFRN, who have campaigned for the issue to be pushed up the agenda of Governments.
The ignorance of these attackers is a daily worry for retailers – Paris, of course, simply gives them an excuse
But this goes beyond ‘retail crime’. This is hate crime. These are despicable, cowardly and misplaced attacks on innocent people doing their jobs, people who happen to have the same skin colour as those associated with the atrocities of November 13.
We have spoken to retailers who have told us how they have trained their staff to combat attacks, who are taking a lead in denouncing what happened. And we praise them for their courageous attitudes and refusal to live in fear.
The ignorance of these attackers is a daily worry for retailers – Paris, of course, simply gives them an excuse. In many cases, the religion of the retailer who is the subject of the attack is irrelevant.
We ask those who are the victims of verbal and physical violence to stand tall. And we ask those who are lucky enough to not have to put up with attacks like these to stand by colleagues in the same industry.
Retailers shouldn’t have to live in fear.
Read the responses from the retailers we spoke to here