Shopkeepers feeling plagued by shoplifters
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley told RTE’s Saturday View that Retail Crime remained one of the biggest stresses and costs for independent retailers. She called for more prison spaces to allow for custodial sentences for repeat offenders and organised crime gangs engaged in retail theft and a co-ordinated approach between the Departments of Justice, Education, Social Welfare and Enterprise to deal with “out of control” youth crime and anti-social behaviour.
Staff safety and security are high on the agenda for retailers – with the vast majority experiencing some form of theft, attack or abuse in-store.
It’s just one of the numerous challenges facing the independent retail sector across Ireland.
Trade organisations are striving day and daily to raise the issues with government and other stakeholders.
Sustainability and carbon emissions are also being taken seriously by independent grocers – something that may not be fully understood by government.
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley told Minister Dara Calleary that independent convenience retailers were taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and to make their businesses more sustainable including installing greener energy sources; putting doors on fridges, LED lighting and more efficient heating and air conditioning systems. She told the Minister who was chairing the Responsible Business Forum that the biggest concern for independent convenience retailers were the high additional costs of employment coming down the line in 2024.
These are difficult times for small independent traders with just one challenge after another facing the sector – from the additional cost burden on employers, to safety and security matters, to sustainability – but these need to be constantly highlighted and kept high on the agenda for change to happen.