The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), the National Retail Association (NRA), and the Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) have partnered to launch a new campaign to combat rising retail crime.

The campaign will be the latest rendition of SDA’s ‘No One Deserves A Serve’ campaign first launched in 2017, and will run across more than 3,100 digital screens and 150+ shopping centres that house over 28,000 retailers from November 1 through to Christmas.

SCCA members will run the SDA’s ‘No One Deserves a Serve’ campaign ads for free nationally across digital media within shopping centres, and workers across small and large retailers will be encouraged to report all incidents of abuse, violence, and retail crime to police.

The maximum in-centre exposure is expected to hit more than 190 million consumer visits across the peak annual shopping period.

It comes amid growing reports of retail crime across Australia, including staff abuse in stores.

One recent instance includes Woolworths Group team members who have been subjected to more than 3000 acts of violence, threats and abuse in the past 12 months.

CEO Brad Banducci confirmed there has been an increase in cases of aggression in stores. It comes as retailers push for state and territory governments across the country to implement tougher penalties for people who assault retail workers.

In partnering to roll-out the Christmas 2023 ‘No One Deserves a Serve’ campaign in shopping centres, the SDA, NRA and SCCA will also work together and partner with governments to address the society-wide issue of abuse and violence towards workers and rising retail crime.

“Retailers employ 1.3 million retail staff in Australia, and staff need to feel safe and protected in their workplace,” NRA CEO Lindsay Carroll said. “We as an industry are jointly calling for policy reforms to clearly demonstrate that any abuse towards retail employees will not be tolerated.

“It is critical we demonstrate to offenders that they ‘are not welcome’ if they intend to abuse, assault or harm anyone.”

SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer said customer abuse and violence is a serious workplace health and safety issue for retailer workers across Australia.

“Research shows that more than 85% of retail workers report being abused on the job with young workers, women and workers from diverse backgrounds being disproportionately singled out for mistreatment,” Dwyer said. “Retail workers are under more stress and pressure during the Christmas season – we’re asking all shoppers not to take out their festive frustrations on the workers who are there to help make your shopping experience a pleasant one.”

SCCA CEO Angus Nardi welcomed the collaborative campaign.

“I am proud our industry has come together with a fresh commitment to address abuse and violence against workers and rising retail crime.”

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