23/05/2024 6:51 PM

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Sainsbury’s faces backlash as it makes shoppers scan receipts to exit stores

Sainsbury's
Image: Kien Tan, Twitter
// Sainsbury’s under fire for making customers scan their receipts before exiting
// The requirement to scan receipts has been introduced at a “small number” of stores

Sainsbury’s is facing backlash for making customers scan their receipts before they can exit the store.

The grocer has introduced the requirement for shoppers at the self-service checkout area of selected stores, with proof of purchase needed to open the exit barriers.

Although Sainsbury’s told Retail Gazette that the technology was not new and was only used in a “small number” of stores, it has only recently been noticed on social media and has angered some shoppers.

One user wrote on Reddit yesterday: “I noticed yesterday my local Sainsbury’s supermarket is now making us scan our receipt to exit the barriers. Why are they doing this? I’ve never had to scan a receipt to exit a supermarket before.

“This has really put me off going back considering I have a large choice of supermarkets.”

Another user on Twitter called the decision an “appalling” way to treat customers.


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The requirement to scan receipts is evidently taking place at the grocer’s Islington and Dalston stores in London after PwC’s retail strategy director Kien Tan posted images on social media.

According to Tan, the grocer has been forcing Dalston shoppers to scan their receipt for the last few months, while its Islington store has blocked off all but one exit – and is implementing a “scan receipt to exit” requirement from today.

Tan said that the initiative “totally defeats the purpose of self scan”.

It appears that Tesco is also using similar tactics, with a Reddit user sharing that they were required to scan their barcode before exiting its Express store near Old Street, London.

The initiatives have been introduced as shoplifting soars amid the cost-of-living crisis.

According to Freedom of Information requests by The Telegraph, shoplifting cases have surged 16% in the past three months as shoppers steal essential products.

The newspaper found that Sainsbury’s and Tesco accounted for 40% of overall cases.