The HTA has joined forces with the BRC and other major retailers to call for action on the escalating crisis of retail crime.
In 2022, the HTA estimated £16 million worth of garden centre turnover had been lost to retail crime over the last 12 months.
Over 70% of garden centres reported crime as an issue.
Retail crime – more to be done
Fran Barnes, Chief Executive of the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) commented:
“The HTA’s retail members, the many and much loved local garden centres across the UK, have been expressing increasing concern over the level and impact of theft from their premises.
“We are more and more often hearing reports of an increased value of goods stolen, an increased threat to staff or at worst assault. Most disappointingly a postcode lottery of police responses to reports of these crimes.
“It goes without saying the safety of staff comes first. That is one of the reasons we are joining with the BRC and others to make this call to the Home Secretary to create a new statutory offence of assaulting, threatening, or abusing a retail worker. More needs to be done to recognise the impact these situations can have on workers and businesses.
“Ultimately, this also all adds costs on already stretched businesses.
“They have been forced to increase their spend and actions to increase their security and safety. This is all on top of high energy and input costs, a year of challenging weather and an unsettled economic climate.”
The HTA is supporting its members on the challenge of retail crime through its preferred partner services, market insights, policy work and webinars. HTA members can access the recent report here.