A helpline for retailers affected by the UK riots has been swamped with calls by worried employees, shopkeepers and managers struggling to deal with the emotional aftermath.
The Retail Trust says its Helpline has received four times the amount of calls that it normally does in the last few days, while the amount of traffic to its website has grown tenfold.
Retail Trust CEO Nigel Rothband says that while practical issues around damage, looting and store protection have made the headlines, the human capital cost of upset for staff and the people who own or work in the affected stores is often a core element of hidden impact.
“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,” he said.
The Retail Trust is the only charity that looks after the country’s three million retail employee and those retired from the sector and its associated businesses.
Rothband said the organisation was there to help all those affected directly or indirectly by the riots.
“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,” he said
The Retail Trust has a track record of delivering Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) for retailers, which 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. Retailers affected by the riots can call 0808 801 0808 or text ‘Helpline’ to 88010.
To date, riots across the country have affected a host of independent retailers as well as high street chains such as M&S, Debenhams, Argos, Bhs, Tesco, Boots and The Body Shop.
If you are a retailer who has been impacted by the riots and would like to tell your story, contact Lingerie Insight here.