A retailer is counting the cost of two attacks on his store in the space of a day after a knife-wielding raider left staff too scared to work.

The store run by Naveen Kumar in north London was robbed as staff shut up shop at 11pm one December night, with one member of staff fleeing and another seeking refuge in a toilet.

The raid, along with another failed attempt the following night, has cost the Budgens store in Islington greatly.

Staff were scared and didn’t want to work late. They’re worried about knife attacks

Staff refused to work late as they were too frightened, while added security was needed to prevent further attempts.

This has meant:

  • Increased staff in the evenings
  • Closing an hour earlier, at 10pm rather than 11pm
  • Shutters being installed
  • An on-site security guard during opening hours

The two attacks were just the latest to hit the store since it opened in 2014. It was initially targeted by a gang of moped thieves who struck three times within its first five months of opening.

The latest incident in December saw two staff threatened with a knife as they were locking up. The raider escaped with £1,000, three tills and bottles of alcohol. 

A mere 28 hours later, it was targeted again, with thieves narrowly failing to gain entry to the store before fleeing empty-handed.

“We’ve got shutters installed now and we’re closing an hour earlier,” Kumar told Retail Express. “We’ve got a security guard in and more staff working at the same time. It costs more, but staff were scared and didn’t want to work late. They’re worried about knife attacks.”

After initial interest, Kumar said police presence around the store had faded away. “For two or three days afterwards, police officers were coming in asking if everything was OK, but since then we’ve had nothing apart from community officers coming in,” he said.

“We’re surprised they haven’t done more, we had CCTV footage and there have been other raids on places nearby. This kind of thing is happening all the time.”