Walgreen’s debuts the new anti-shoplifting model store

Most of the merchandise is inaccessible! You are allowed to get bags of Cheetos, apparently, by yourself.

Curiously, in the story the guy from Walgreen’s says they may have cried too much about the problem - then they go and debut this. Weird.

And, boy, are there a lot of employees. Three greet you inside the front door, essentially asking why you’re there.

And, just where are they going to get enough people at cheap wages to staff the thing?..oh yeah, that broadened SNAP work requirement? Or maybe the increased hours some states allow teenagers to be worked?

Once upon a time, stores did not let customers touch stuff. You told the grocer what you wanted, and he fetched it for you. “Shop for yourself” was a cost saving measure.

Speaking of the dearth of people desperate enough to work for peanuts, two new Wendy’s stories.

At the Wendy’s in the Wendy’s/Tim’s dual: walked in, and the Wendy’s side had the metal gate at the counter open, indicating they were serving in the dining room. This is the first time, in probably two months, that they have served in the dining room. I commented on that fact to one of the staff. She said “yeah, we finally have a full staff”. I got my lunch, sat down, and started eating. About fifteen minutes later, they pulled the gate down: no longer serving the dining room,

At my former favorite Wendy’s: I have learned to stop in the drive, get out of my car, and tug on the door, to see if it is unlocked, rather than park first, but this time, there was another vehicle behind me, so I parked. Approached the door, tugged, and it opened!

This is the one that recently remodeled. It has touch screen kiosks for dining room orders, so does not man the counter at all. There was a girl in evidence scooping up fries, so I asked her how to use the coupon I had on the kiosk. She said I can’t. No way to key in a coupon on the kiosk. To use a coupon, I have to go through the drive up. I explained that I was in the middle of running several errands, so want to dine in. If I used the drive-up, I would have to run home to eat. They did not have anyone in the drive-up lane right then, so they rang my order, with coupon, through the register at the drive-up. I thanked them for accommodating this old phart, and sat down to eat. I had barely sat down, when one of the girls locked the dining room doors. She explained that, they have to close the dining room when there are only 2 staff in the place.

So two out of two Wendy’s, I was able to use the dining room only by the skin of my teeth as both closed only minutes after my arrival. The staff are super nice, but the company (both are owned by the same franchisee) is making it very difficult to patronize the stores.

Arby’s is the only place I have never been disappointed when I want to eat in. Tim’s is usually out of half their sandwich fix’ns, and even BK has had their door locked from time to time.


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Are we to assume racial profiling? Or just a lovefest?

Note I am asking not assuming in full. My crystal ball sees a lawsuit Walgreens loses. Need to add there is an awful lot of shoplifting in white suburbia where none of the box stores would dare to do this.

Years ago, when I did more Home Depot shopping, I’d sometimes run into their grating blocked items, have to find someone to Open it up, and even then, maybe not find what I wanted, so I just quit even looking at that ‘stuff’, went elsewhere, where I wasn’t treated as a thief…

At the time, generally using a corporate card for tools, materials, spent at time, spent $thousands a month, but at other hardware, tool shops, whever I happened to have a job site… Still irritated by it, but also read of the theft problems today, but this is 25 years later, and times have changed… Sad to see… Drugs are likely part of it…

I hear the same complaint about Walmart, other stores, where the door monitor demands to check your receipt before you leave. But the fact is, they lose huge amounts to shoplifting. I comply when asked to show the receipt. I certainly am not going to give the door monitor a hard time for following the orders he is given.



We do door checks all the time at Costco, but they’ve had problems, too, for a while had uniformed guards, but it seems to have settled down…

No easy answer… to some it’s just free money I guess… And today, you never know if the thief is armed, gun, knife, can’t ask helpers, other customers to endanger their own lives over thievery…

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More the stores themselves than anything else. It is cheaper just to let it walk. Because the box stores have corned their markets more or less you pay for it in the sticker price. Which is often less than going to a mom and pop because the box stores buy in bulk and negotiate better and more directly on the wholesale level and factory level.

Different demographics including suburban high school students are all over simply walking with whatever they like. They all talk to each other and say you will get away with it. When they are employed by the box stores they are told do not get involved as a clerk with any of the shoplifters. Back off.

Recent case in Motown. Guy tries to buy $4 worth of stuff at a convenience store, with his credit card. Card declined. The guy tried to leave the store with the $4 worth of stuff. The clerk locked the door. As the argument between the guy and the clerk escalated, the guy pulled out a gun and started shooting. One other patron in the store killed, another wounded.

The clerk has been charged for not letting the perp go, which lead to the perp shooting the other patrons.

In subsequent reporting, the news says the clerk was following company policy in trying to detain the perp.

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Legal bills but those are minor compared to doctor’s bills. Well until the doctors testify about the damages that is.

It seems like the problem may not be shoplifting but organized crime.

The National Retail Federation says organized retail crime is the main reason for retail “shrink”

“This is very sophisticated local, state, national and transnational organizations, organized not just to steal at the store level, but throughout the entire supply chain … on the docks, on trucks, off ships, through containers, on the railways. This is a really persistent problem and it’s across the supply chain,” Shay (National Retail Federation president) told CNBC on Thursday.

Physical theft is still the No. 1 method used by thieves in the supply chain, but they are getting more sophisticated, creating fictitious pickups through use of identity theft — pretending to be trucking companies, including infiltrating online freight management systems and freight brokerage phone lines.

“If this were a retail problem exclusively, retail would have solved it by now,” Shay said.

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This isn’t anything new. Fifty years ago guys were stealing from the docks by smashing the end of a pallet and declaring it damaged, and loading it onto their own pickup trucks and taking it where. People have been stealing whole truckloads of goods for years simply by hijacking a truck, or worse, backing their own cab to a truckload and driving it away before it’s unloaded.

Maybe it’s worse now, but it’s never been “not a problem.” I would think with RFIDs and Apple Tags and similar it would be easier, not harder to deal with. (I do see a lot more stuff behind cages at Home Depot than ever before, I’ll say.)


I don’t know about “worse”, but definitely “different” Back then, when they stole a pallet or a truckload, the authorities could easily set up a sting and catch the ones doing it. And then it would stop for a while. That’s why the mob would rotate through “businesses”, once a certain segment of their business became too difficult (due to the cops mostly), they would rotate to another segment. Sometimes they had enough political power to keep a business segment running for decades (construction and construction material in many areas, waste hauling in many areas, etc).

But this is different. The organizations behind this particular crime business segment have identified a type of crime that society hasn’t found a good way to combat, and that there are even segments of society that condone it to some extent. I mean, you send 200 people out to all the HomeDepotLowes stores in the area, and each one acquires a valuable power tool or accessories or whatever and brings them to you to sell online. It’s so easy to sell stuff online and there is near zero policing of where the items were acquired. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to combat this kind of crime. The really high value tools are already placed in cages, but there’s plenty of valuable stuff on the shelves. That can’t put everything in cages because the cost of extra employment would severely affect the business and make it much less comfortable for the customers.


I worked for The Gillette Company in Boston for a number of years. They manufactured most of the razor blades in their South Boston manufacturing center and the Distribution Center was in Andover, about 25 miles north of Boston.

The trucks that were loaded with razor blades were hijacked so often that the company started to have armed security guards riding shotgun in the truck with the driver for the short 25 mile ride.

→ razor blades can be turned into cash in a flash.


Yes and no, organized gangs raid stores for $2000 or more at a shot.

But suburban high school students can take $100 every time they enter the local box store of their choice. It adds up to about the same thing. There are far more of them as well.

Meanwhile attack the gangs and you might get two birds with one stone. Meaning politically attacking local high school students directly wont work. For lobbying purposes citing the problem as gang related might work to get legislative efforts done.

That sort of organized theft has been widely acknowledged, for a heck of a lot longer than fifty years. I remember watching a film titled “Never Steal Anything Small”, which is about a man who gets himself elected President of a Longshoreman’s union local. The heads of the other locals can’t understand where the guy is getting all the money to provide such rich benefits to the members of his local, who eagerly reelect him, because his “leadership” provides such rich benefits…of course, the money is coming from the goods they steal.

There is a brief clip in the trailer of one of their capers, a crate of Swiss watch movements (from the days when an accurate watch movement was a precision machine and expensive) “accidentally” falls into the water while being offloaded from a freighter.


Well, it has singing and dancing in a movie with Shirley Jones and James Cagney. Who could want for anything more!


Seems Walgreens is utilizing the jewelry store-pawn shop model. No access to the goods without a salesperson present.
Somewhat inconvenient for the customer. The customer got used to self check out; they will get used to limited access to goods. And somewhat more expensive for the store as they will need more salespersons. Of course Target & Walmart have indicated that $400-500 million annual shoplifting loss goes out the door. So they can afford some more employees.

Shoplifters at a San Francisco Walgreens ripped off the plastic screens on its locked-up shelves on Monday night, a store manager said.

Stores from Safeway to Home Depot have been increasingly locking items behind screens to deter shoplifting in the Bay Area and across the country. Customers and staff in San Francisco stores recently described the security measures as irritating, with it taking several minutes to access basic items like toothbrushes or high-value items such as liquor and power tools.

Walgreens manager Chanh Luu said the group entered the Bernal Heights store at around 8 p.m. and began smashing the shelves in two of the store’s aisles, where laundry soap and dental products are locked away behind plastic shields due to rampant shoplifting in the city. The shields were torn away so the thieves could get their hands on the items…

They then fled from the 3398 Mission St. store with $200 worth of toothpaste and laundry detergent, leaving behind $250 worth of damage, Luu said.


One of the thieves cut their hand on some of the cracked plexiglass. I’m guessing that SF will soon pass laws that forbid glass or plexiglass covers on shelves at stores to prevent such injuries.


It should be illegal not to serve tea to the shoplifting/victims.