As you meander through any retail store in the autumn months, it’s hard not to notice the flurry of activity surrounding Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas, with prominent displays of pumpkins, spooky costumes, and fireworks taking centre stage in the aisles.
However, these festive preparations come with their own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to the sale of age-restricted items like fireworks or products that local police or other community representatives may ask you to limit to those under 18 to prevent anti-social behaviour (eggs and flour being a favourite). These are examples of compliance that retailers must adhere to.
The Challenge of Compliance
The law prohibits retailers from selling many products to individuals under a range of ages – for example, to buy fireworks, alcohol or tobacco products, you must be 18 or over. For chocolate liquors and party poppers, it’s 16. You have to be over 12 years of age to buy Christmas Crackers (assuming they don’t have alcohol in them!). This legal stipulation places a heavy burden on store managers and checkout supervisors, who must ensure all staff members know the compliance rules and regulations surrounding the sale of age-related items.
Penalties for selling age-restricted products to minors vary depending upon the product and circumstances. For example, an employee could receive a fixed penalty of £80 for a single infringement of selling cigarettes to a minor but, for repeated sales, could be liable to a higher fine of up to £5,000. They could also be banned from working in a shop selling tobacco for up to one year, effectively losing their job. Additionally, the shop owner could receive a fine of up to £5,000 for the first offence but as high as £20,000 for repeated breaches, a criminal record and restrictions placed on any licences that they hold or intend to apply for. The licence holder could lose their licence to sell alcohol or fireworks or be banned from selling tobacco products (Source: No ID, No Sale!)
Despite the existence of numerous paper-based briefing methods like signature sheets, leaflets, handouts, and signs, it can still be extremely difficult to ensure every staff member has received and understood the necessary briefings. This is where the power of Metro comes into play.
Metro Unified Comms
Metro Unified Comms is changing the game when it comes to how Retail, Hospitality, and Healthcare businesses interact and engage with their frontline teams. Each team member is provided with their own personal login, leading to a personalised homepage where information and content are published specifically for them and their role. This personalised approach ensures that the right information reaches the right people at the right time.
Built-in Compliance Routines
One of the key features of Metro is its compliance routines. Managers and Head Office can see which members of their store teams have confirmed that they have read, watched, or listened to briefings, instructions, and information that is relevant to their job. This ensures compliance, understanding and due diligence and helps maintain service standards and customer satisfaction – critical where trading legislation is concerned.
Metro in Action
Many of the UK’s leading retailers have already adopted Metro and are enjoying significant improvements in their operations, compliance and employee engagement. The digital transformation of retail communication through Metro is not only simplified but also critical in today’s fast-paced retail environment.
Benefits of Metro Unified Comms
|Aspect||Benefits of Metro|
|Compliance||Ensures every staff member is familiar with legal regulations and store policies.|
|Due Diligence||Provides visible evidence of checks and processes designed to mitigate bad business outcomes|
|Service Standards||Improves customer service by having well-informed, efficient staff.|
|Staff Satisfaction||Increases staff satisfaction due to clarity in communication and understanding of roles.|
|Customer Satisfaction||Enhances customer experience through consistent and efficient service.|
Embrace the digital revolution. Enhance your retail operations. Choose Metro Unified Comms.
To learn more about how Metro is working with many of the UK’s leading retailers and helping stamp out underage sales, contact us now.