Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Bad parenting costs retailers money

Mark Fletcher
October 1st, 2018 · 4 Comments

I watched as two kids, around five and seven, ran amok in the shop Saturday. At first, they were having fun, not causing much triple. Then one kid tore a card and slid it under a stand while another started chewing on a small plush product.

The parents were not in the shop and could not be seen nearby.

I asked the kids to stop. The older one told me to f**k off. They ran around the shop a couple of times and then ran out and around the corner.

I stood out the front of the shop, expecting them back. A few minutes later, they did return and went to a couple of adults sitting at a table in an open coffee shop opposite the business. I walked toward them, the adults took the kids by hand and walked for the exit.

I decided to leave it there so I returned to the shop to retrieve and write off damaged stock.

This story is not unusual, especially in shopping centres, especially at school holiday time. Too often shops like ours are in the child care business, a place for kids to play while parents or others in charge shop or relax with a coffee.

Our policy is that if kids are in the shop unsupervised we look for the parents and if they cannot be quickly located we call security and expect them to remove the kids. In a shopping centre where many shoppers are not local we need a policy like this to address unsupervised kids with certainty. Unsupervised kids in a large shopping centre can be dangerous for them and for retailers.

I guess we open ourselves to the costs of this interactive behaviour in that we put products out to be played with and bring in products that will appeal to kids. So, yeah, it is our own fault. However, sheesh, I wish parents and those supervising kids would take more care. They ought to show more respect for our property by watching over kids.

We do factor shrinkage due to damage by shoppers in our pricing and we try and be vigilant on behaviour like I have described.

I’ve not written this post looking for empathy or guidance or snarky responses. I have written it because I am frustrated and writing about what happened eases the frustration.


Category: Newsagency management · Ugh!

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Glenn // Oct 1, 2018 at 3:08 PM

    If parents are not inclined to teach their kids manners and respect for our stock whilst in our shop, I don’t mind helping out whether they want it or not.


  • 2 LANCE // Oct 1, 2018 at 8:04 PM

    I had a Milk Bar in Mitcham with a door at each end.
    On more than one occasion I had the need to chat to Mums sitting at outside tables about their kids running circles, in one door out the other.
    Locking one door generally solved the issue, and Mum had to walk the long way round to come back into the shop. Ohh dear…. 🙁

    If they need correctional control, they will get it 😉


  • 3 Jenny // Oct 2, 2018 at 6:32 AM

    If a child that young tells you to f**k off imagine what the parents would have said to you!


  • 4 ERIC // Oct 3, 2018 at 9:20 AM

    i don’t waste my time to call security. i will just tell them go and look for their parents


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