Research conducted by We Card shows that employees who fail compliance checks often do so after they have asked for ID. Many employees look at the ID and then don’t do the age calculation properly and proceed with the sale. One of the reasons we hear is that: “I thought that they were old enough to buy” This may happen even when examining an ID that shows the customer is under the legal age to purchase age restricted products.
According to a 2017 survey conducted by NACS of more than a 1,000 consumers, many Americans got their start working in a convenience store. It’s a great place to gain experience, work with customers and learn the ropes.
In its 25-year history, We Card has gone from a startup nonprofit to the go-to organization for training materials and age-verification tools for retailers. During that time, the words ‘We Card’ transitioned to an action verb, a retail company policy and a corporate social responsibility program. Overall, We Card has played a major role in moving from a 40.1% violation rate in 1997 to a 9.6% violation rate in 2018.
Convenience retailers have unique challenges when it comes making sure every customer is satisfied with the point of sale experience. One of the best ways to prepare for the range of challenges front line employees face is to provide practice situations where the stakes are low and the opportunity for learning is high.
This leads us to our next best practice #6
Simulate Difficult Situations That Occur at the Point-of-Sale
Retailers are some of the most talented when it comes to guessing age. When checking IDs for an age restricted product, employees look at customers, then look at their IDs and check the date-of-birth. After enough repetition, it may get easier to guess how old someone is.
And this talent can sometimes get in the way. Why? Because it doesn’t matter how old a customer looks, it’s whether they are carded. The FDA requires everyone under 30 be carded.
This brings us to Best Practice #5
Running a retail business requires solid multi-tasking skills. Keeping the store running -- making sure everything is stocked, systems are running properly and ensuring customers are happy is a demanding job.
On top of these responsibilities is that of keeping on top of laws, regulations and store policies. In the case of tobacco and vaping products, the FDA regulates the sale and states do too. Plus, your store policies may be designed to support these laws and the safety of your employees.
Training every employee in person can be a challenge. Keeping track of new requirements for selling age restricted products requires constant monitoring and it’s easy to fall behind.
With new technologies, employers can offer regular training, new training and refresher training ON DEMAND. This means that rather than requiring a new employee to sit through a scheduled class or take time away from other pressing tasks, employees can take training at their own pace and sometimes from their home.