The IAA’s Kathryn Gaw joined the NFRN’s Margaret McCloskey, and retailer Raymond Farrell to discuss theft, cigarettes and more.

Raymond’s Challenge:

RayRaymond is concerned about underage cigarette sales and theft, and wants to do more to protect his business.

Raymond says:

“There are a lot of issues I have to be conscious of so I’m looking forward to seeing where I have opportunities to improve. I am regularly visited by Trading Standards so I’m keen to ensure I’m doing all I can to ensure I’m complying with the regulations. Margaret has a lot of knowledge, so I’m pleased to have her here to share it with me.”

IAA advice:

1. Ask for proof of age, keep a log of refusals and check and sign it

Raymond’s shop has been tested by Trading Standards four times in the past few years. He’s never knowingly sold cigarettes to underage customers, and is keen to ensure this remains the case. “Retailers have to properly check ID’s, there have recently been instances of people showing the ID card, that proves they are underage. If staff don’t check the date of birth properly you could get caught out” Margaret warns. She also notices Raymond is not displaying the “NO ID NO Sale Poster” on or beside his gantry which carries a £1,000 fine. She provides the official note and a refusal register, recommending he sign it every day, writing “no refusals today” if there aren’t any.

Action: Eliminate underage sales by replacing signage and keeping and signing a refusals register daily

2. Carry out refresher training and keep a signed log

Raymond is a conscientious retailer, who is very aware of his responsibilities. However, he can’t be in the shop all the time, and is worried about issues which are beyond his control. Although they have passed every Trading Standards test to date, he wants to do all he can to protect the business in the future. While Raymond and his staff are very vigilant to underage sales, his staff haven’t had recent training. Margaret advises him that an additional measure would be to carry out regular training. “It’s important to remind staff of their responsibilities,” she says, “be sure to record it in a log and have staff sign it to prove you’re doing all you can to prevent underage sales.”

Action: Give staff regular refresher training on underage sales and keep a signed record of what you’ve done

3. Keep written records of the regulations you comply with

While Raymond is aware of his health and safety obligations, he doesn’t have many documents to back up his actions. He says he used to have an accident book, but stopped using it as there were no accidents to report. Margaret points out a number of minor health
and safety issues in the shop, including a loose step in the stockroom.

“It’s important to keep an accident book to protect yourself and identify potential hazards in the workplace. It’s a legal requirement to display the HSE Health and Safety Law – What you need to know poster”. Margaret says she can help source the poster and provided NFRN’s Health and Safety Retail Insight Module to help with other legislation requirements.

Action: Put up the health and safety law poster and start using an accident book

pencilYour action plan:

  • Go to betterretailing.com/IAA to download the free tools to improve your shop
  • Call 020 7689 0600 (Option 3) to find out how you can take part in a future visit from one of our partners
  • To benchmark your shop, download your free digital copy of the IAA’s Retail Profit Guide.

Our retail toolkit is packed with useful tools and resources to help you grow your sales and profits, including the Retail Profit Guide.