Last week I posted a few sentences, forwarding a news report about a robbery in Brooklyn. The young female sales clerk was dragged into the basement and tied up for two hours.This reminded me of a summer of robberies on my street 2 years ago. There was a tag team robbing women??s clothing stores. They would hit small upscale stores where sole women worked. I remember one incident specifically. After the police left the store, I talked to the young woman that had been thrown into the window. She was crying and scared. I asked if the store had any kind of standard action in place when an employee was at risk of a robbery or worse. The girl said no. Last summer, I had a drug induced, half naked street guy come into my store and wander into the back room. I grabbed my customer??s hand, grabbed my phone and left the store. Once I knew my customer and I were safe, I call 911. Lucky, he wandered out of my store a few minutes later without incident. My customer was horrified. I reassured her all was well. Sadly, this is the way it is in a NYC brick and mortar..I have had a handful of situations over the years. I keep a baseball bat behind my counter. The reason I am writing this post is simple. I was blown away when I asked the young women what she did when the two robbers came into the store. Firstly, this was not the only time they had come in and robbed this business. The women did not leave nor did she not move out her customers. As my memory serves me, she approached the robber. He then throw her into the window. I am not saying what I did is the best or only solution. I have approached would be robbers as well but I am not a 20 year old girl. I am more experienced and I don??t give off the vibe of a young deer in headlights. I also am responsible for the safety of my interns.Since then, I have become acutely aware when passing small boutiques, generally there is only one employee. Usually a young woman. Sometimes just an intern that has no experience. I seriously think as retail business owners, we have a responsibility to at least open up a discussion with our employees and create some sort of guidelines for them to follow. Not sure if you know how to handle a bad situation? Walk into a precinct and ask. Sadly, there was so many robberies on the street 2 years ago, the police were lackadaisical about even showing up! How sad it that! This can be a group discussion. How have you handled robberies? What has worked and not worked for you? Any suggestions for all of us vulnerable to the open public?
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