Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Loblaw testing receipt scanner at self-checkout in some Ontario stores

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When Julie Hay pays for her groceries, she usually heads directly to the self-checkout.

“I love self-checkout, I find it very convenient,” she said. “There’s never a lineup.It’s quick, it’s efficient and yes, I do self-checkout wherever I go.”

Self-checkouts have become a staple in many retail stores, including grocery stores like Loblaws. But recently, some Ontario customers were surprised to learn they had to scan their receipt before exiting, confirming they paid for their goods.

The grocery giant says it’s an attempt to reduce theft, a growing problem not just at their stores, but in the retail industry as a whole.

“I’m for it more or less,” said shopper Joseph Schiralli. “If Loblaws is under this much scrutiny and this is what they need to do, then by all means.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Loblaw says organized retail crime across the entire industry is a very serious issue, noting that it has only gotten worse.

The statement adds that the issue is impacting prices and safety.

“To protect customers and colleagues, we’re always looking at different ways to stop this theft. This pilot is a part of these efforts. It’s a small trial in 4 stores to determine effectiveness. We are working hard to balance a need for enhanced security while at the same time preserving a welcoming and convenient customer experience. We welcome our customers’ input and as always, appreciate their understanding,” reads the statement.

There are no receipt scanners in Ottawa yet. Loblaw says its four test locations are in southern Ontario — Windsor, Woodstock, Oakville and Georgetown.

But some shoppers aren’t too keen about it.

“It’s again just making grocery shopping more difficult,” said shopper Mark Guian. “I probably wouldn’t go back to the store.”

Loblaw was not clear on how long the pilot project will last or when they plan to add more stores.

“If that’s a solution and that will work, I’m all for it,” said Hay. “As long as its quick and you can get out quickly.”

Over the past four years, incidents of retail theft that involve some form of violence have increased 300 per cent, says retail council of Canada Michelle Wasylyshen.

“Retail theft is often thought of as a victimless crime, but it’s not. It costs Canadian retailers billions of dollars a year – costs that are borne by all consumers when they go shopping.In addition to being frustrated by financial losses, business owners are concerned for the safety of their customers and employees,” Wasylyshen said.

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