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Retailers count heavy cost of riots

Retailers lost thousands of hours of trading because of this month's riots in cities across England, a survey has shown.

Firms representing just over a quarter of total UK retail sales said 899 of their stores and 11,088 members of their staff were affected by the violence, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found.

They lost 7,599 trading hours because of the disorder, and reported that seven of their shops were set alight, 61 were burgled, 102 had stock stolen and 187 were damaged.

The BRC noted that the total loss to the retail sector as a whole will be much higher.

It is sending its research to local police forces for use in victim impact assessments to help judges sentence those convicted over the rioting.

The 16 retailers who responded to the survey also commented on the effect the violence had on their employees.

One wrote: "Some staff were extremely frightened by events; a few have indicated that they will be considering their careers in retail."

Another said: "There was fear of coming to work and not being able to get to work. Two colleagues were mugged and assaulted on their way home. Colleagues were in store when looters hit."

BRC director of business Tom Ironside said: "The thousands of people who work in shops have been the forgotten victims of the riots.

"The scenes of violence and looting which broke out two weeks ago were frightening even for the majority of us who were watching them on television or reading about them in the papers."


From Belfast Telegraph