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Retailers Double Down on Anti-Theft Measures

Empty food shelf

Safeway, Giant Food, and Kroger recently began modifying their operations at select locations to minimize retail shrink caused by theft.

Safeway cited an “increasing amount of theft” as part of its decision to remove self-checkout kiosks in addition to adjusting the front end of the store to mitigate retail theft, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Like other local businesses, we are working on ways to curtail escalating theft so we can ensure the wellbeing of our employees and foster a welcoming environment for our customers. These long-planned security improvements were implemented with those goals in mind,” said the retailer in a statement.

Safeway is the latest retailer to remove self-checkout capabilities at its locations. Earlier this month, Target, Dollar General, Schnucks, and Walmart all discussed plans to rethink their self-checkout strategy, either by reducing the number of kiosks, or removing them from their stores entirely.

Giant Food is finding that perpetrators are using large zippered bags to steal product, reports ABC 7. As a result, it issued a bag size limit for customers entering stores in the Washington D.C. area.

“Giant Food initiated a new policy at select stores that are experiencing high shrink to mitigate the unprecedented levels of product theft that have become unsustainable for our business. Starting May 23rd, customers cannot bring suitcases, duffel bags, or bags larger than 14” x 14” x 6” while shopping in these stores,” said Giant Food in a statement.

Six Kroger stores in the Cincinnati area are beginning to periodically check the receipts of those leaving the store to ensure all of a customer’s items are paid for, reports WLWT 5

"At Kroger, we are committed to providing access to fresh food and essentials. Safety is one of our core values, and it guides everything we do. In response to increased incidents of theft, we recently deployed added safety measures at six Cincinnati-area stores, including periodic receipt checks. Although early in implementation, we have received positive feedback from associates and customers," said Kroger in a statement.

Retail theft has been a major issue for national retailers since the pandemic. Last year, Target issued a statement explaining that nine of its locations were forced to shutter as a result of persistent theft. This has forced grocers to turn to seek alternative solutions to deter shoplifting, including introducing locked cases, AI-enabled cameras, and automated receipt scanners.