SHOPPERS were left horrified after an aggressive new self-checkout security measure kept innocent customers “locked up.”
The anti-theft devices include smart gates, cameras, locks on shopping carts, and even fog machines.
But shoppers feel that they’re being trapped inside the store and are voicing their opinions.
“Now you’re locked into Coles. I couldn’t get out of the self-serve checkout once I’d finish my shopping ’til they looked at my receipt and pressed a button for the new glass gates they have installed,” said @FeeFeeGirl8.
While passing through the gates, the woman said she noticed the same glass gates were also used at the traditional checkout areas.
“So it’s not enough that they are price gouging and ripping us off, they now lock you into Coles and you can’t get out,” she said.
“I asked the lady ‘What’s going on here? Are we locked in here now?’ and she’s like ‘Oh no no no’ and I go ‘Well it doesn’t seem to open when anyone walks up to it.'”
A button needed to be pressed in order for the gate to open once bags have been checked, the woman said.
“I wasn’t mad at her, I feel sorry for these workers [working for] such as revolting company,” said the woman.
“I am just horrified that they are now locking people in so they can check bags and stop people from exiting the shop.”
Another TikToker, Jarrod (@JarrodsWorld) also shared his own thoughts after watching the original customer’s video.
“And now for doing the work ourselves and saving you money, we are being treated as if we’re guilty until proven innocent and locked in until our bags are checked. What if you’re in an emergency?
“We do not work for you, and if you want us to serve ourselves then you have to bear the weight of that. You can’t have us serve ourselves just to be checked at the f*****g gate.”
Jarrod’s video has gained nearly 400,000 views and almost 30,000 likes.
He believes the new technology will affect only the “innocent” shoppers who won’t appreciate being treated like “criminals.”
“All I can see is disaster,” said Jarrod.
“Essentially you could say they’re taking their catchphrase “locked down” quite literally. Not only are your prices ‘down, down, prices are down’ – now your customers are locked down.”
The new tech helps keep track of customers as soon as they enter the store and records the time they take to shop through each aisle until they checkout.
There are also new security cameras above checkout machines to keep track of all items being scanned and placed into bags.
If a theft is believed to have happened, the smart gates will shut and ring out an alarm to keep the customer in the store.
There are also new high-tech shopping carts that will lock up the second a customer leaves the store if the gates somehow fail.
“We know that retail crime is on the increase across all retailers, and we have a range of security measures in place to reduce theft from our stores including CCTV, electronic article surveillance (EAS), and in some stores, new smart gate technology that automatically opens as customers make payment for their products,” said Coles in a statement.
The company’s Chief Operations Officer, Matt Swindells called the new tech a “world-class” in identifying possible thieves.
“What we’ve done is taken the best of what’s overseas and then enhanced it with a few other tweaks so we believe we’ve got world-class loss-prevention technology in our stores,” he said.
“If you’re a thief, we’re gonna catch ya.”
He also added the tech will help stop violent attacks on staff members, which have gone on the rise in the past year.
Staff members will also be allowed to wear special duress watches that will alert other members if there is a potential incident.
Bodycams may also be available so members can record their interactions like police officers.
“If you’re going to start to threaten a staff member then we will document it and take the necessary actions,” said Swindells.