IGA Greenslopes Swaps Self-Serve for Manned Registers to Combat Shoplifting

IGA Greenslopes is taking drastic action to combat a surge in shoplifting, announcing it will be abandoning its modern self-checkout system in favour of good old-fashioned manned checkouts.

Read: New Owners Revive No More Knots in Greenslopes

According to a sign posted in the store, the controversial change is a direct response to a “massive spike” in theft. 

Photo credit: Kristy Robinson/Google Maps

On a positive note, some customers welcomed the change, suggesting it would likely lead to the creation of more jobs. One shopper said they were happy about the change, adding that they hate the self-serving areas, because the machines don’t have the same personal touch as traditional manned checkouts.

The Cost of Living and Rising Crime Rates

Meanwhile, theft is a problem that is plaguing retailers across the country – the National Retail Association estimates retail crime, including shoplifting, robbery and vandalism, costs Australian businesses up to $9 billion each year.

Even more alarmingly, the retail group says less than 20 percent of these crimes are reported to police. 

In recent months, major chains like Coles and Woolworths have been ramping up their anti-theft efforts, implementing AI-powered cameras, security gates, and other technologies at self-serve checkouts. But for the IGA Greenslopes, these measures haven’t gone far enough.

Photo credit: Legends IGA Greenslopes/Google Maps

The move comes at a time when many Australians are struggling with the rising cost of living. A financial expert highlighted that the current economic climate is driving some people to desperate measures.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the living costs for employee households rose 6.9 percent in the year to December 2023, with essentials like insurance, housing and food seeing sharp increases.

Michelle Marquardt, head of prices statistics at the Australian Bureau of Statistics stated that employee households recorded the largest annual rise in living costs, though the increase this quarter has eased from a peak of 9.6 percent in the June 2023 quarter.

Read: Midnight Trip to Kitchen Leaves Greenslopes Man $1M Richer

Whether the return to old-school checkouts will succeed in stemming the tide of shoplifting at supermarkets remains to be seen. But with the cost of retail crime spiralling, stores like IGA may have little choice but to try radical new approaches to protect their bottom line.

Published 18-April-2024