GCA supports HTA report into reducing crime in garden centre retail

The Garden Centre Association (GCA) is supporting a new report published by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) about reducing crime in garden centre retail (August 2022).

The report reveals how costly crime is to UK garden centres and uses psychological theory and some tactics and methods to deploy to help deter crime.

Tammy Woodhouse, Chairman at the GCA, said: “The HTA’s report on reducing opportunistic crime in garden centre retail is an interesting read and one we think our members will benefit greatly from.

“The report revealed that HTA members surveyed said customer theft was one of the biggest problems they faced, with 22% of garden centres describing it as a major issue. It also reveals that in the last year, approximately £16million of HTA member garden centres’ turnover was lost to theft.

“The most frequently stolen items were packet seeds, followed by secateurs and other hand tools. Watering products/parts, bulbs and gifts/jewellery were reported as being vulnerable to be stolen, but on a more minor scale.

“The report looks into why crimes happened and using psychology, it offers advice on understanding and deterring individuals from committing them. It also gives ideas and examples of applying principles of psychology to deter crime, such as the ‘watching eye’ effect, changing mood through music and how to utilise staff, and encourage psychological ownership among employees.

“We are encouraging our members to have a read of the report as we feel it will be extremely beneficial to those who have problems with theft. It’s vital to stay on top of important issues like this and our members can all share help and ideas with each other on tackling the problem.”

The report is available to view by members at https://hta.org.uk/consumerinsights.

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability. For further information, please visit www.gca.org.uk.

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