Woolworths New Zealand has detailed its investment in making its stores throughout the country safer for customers and team members.
The company is investing $45 million over the next three years to add further security measures to its stores and upskill team members dealing with conflict situations.
In the past six years, Woolworths New Zealand has recorded a reported 303% increase in physical assaults, an 806% rise in security incidents and a 326% increase in theft incidents.
Measures being introduced in the coming months include 30 additional trolley lock systems, new camera technology at self-checkouts in more stores, and double entry gates in 12 stores.
In the last few years, the retailer has seen a significant increase in aggressive, threatening and brazen behaviour from offenders in stores, along with a marked rise in shoplifting and retail crime incidents.
Woolworths NZ Managing Director, Spencer Sonn says the trend is unacceptable, and keeping customers and team safe in stores is an absolute priority for the business.
“The behaviour our team and customers see and experience every day in our stores is simply not good enough, and we won’t tolerate it. We’re stepping up our security and safety measures across our network to combat this and make ourselves a much harder target for retail crime.”
“Our team comes to work every day to serve our local communities. They do not deserve to be abused, verbally or physically assaulted for simply showing up to do their job. Hearing our team describe some of what they see and experience on the frontline is simply disgraceful.”
“We’ve been working to introduce a number of new initiatives in our stores, and New Zealanders can expect to see further changes in their local area in the coming months and years. We also know our strong relationships with both local and national Police, community groups and other retailers are critical – and we’re continuing to further build these,” says Spencer.
Woolworths New Zealand already has a number of different safety and security measures in place including specific team training, store design initiatives, push to talk radios and the use of CCTV. All of these will continue alongside the new measures. Every measure implemented complies with New Zealand law including privacy requirements.
Details of new initiatives
• Trolley lock systems are in place in 12 stores, with a further 30 stores to be implemented within the next two months. The system uses a smart wheel lock technology to stop trolley push outs.
• New camera technology at self-checkouts is now live in 4 stores with a further 16 stores to have the technology by the end of 2023, with a plan to implement more from early 2024. The technology helps to reduce mis-scans at checkouts. If a mis-scan occurs, a short video highlights the affected product and customers then have the opportunity to re-scan it. If someone does a mis-scan, it’s the same as any other time assistance is needed – a team member will come over to help make it right. No camera footage is retained.
• Double entry gates are in place in 12 stores.
• Push to talk radios are now in place in all of our stores.