Coles debuts new tactic to stop self-checkout thefts
A dozen Coles supermarkets across Melbourne have reportedly installed tablet-sized cameras at self-serve checkouts to deter shoplifters.
The cameras have been set up on the self-service monitor, allowing shoppers to see themselves scanning and packing their items on the screen. It is unknown whether the cameras are recording any footage.
A Coles spokesperson told Over 60 that the supermarket is trialling the new security technology in select stores to help reduce self-checkout theft.
“While the large majority of our customers do the right thing, it’s not fair that a small number of people get away with doing the wrong thing,” said the spokesperson.
She said the cameras are complemented with large signs and posters at the front of the stores, therefore complying with all relevant laws relating to signage detailing security measures in place.
Apart from the cameras, the spokesperson said covert security officers are also present in stores nationwide. “They’re catching hundreds of thieves every week and reporting them to police.”
It is not known how long the trial period would go for, or if the security measures would be extended to more stores.
Eight million transactions are being made on the self-serve checkouts at Coles every week.
Self-checkout thefts and scams have been an ongoing problem for supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths. A 2018 survey of 2,200 shoppers by Canstar Blue revealed that 7 per cent admitted to stealing an item without scanning it, while 9 per cent admitted to scanning a product as a cheaper alternative to avoid paying the full price.
These numbers remained largely unchanged from two years before, even after efforts by the retailers to crack down on theft and underscanning.