As crime continues to soar, businesses and stores are resorting to increasingly restrictive measures to mitigate that destructive spillage.
Whereas many businesses have already adopted some sort of a receipt checkout before leaving the store’s premises, certain Safeway stores in San Francisco are adding a high-tech wrinkle to that established practice, according to KPIX-TV.
In short, these new checkouts in San Francisco have replaced the elderly lady who glances at a customer’s receipt with a physical gate that won’t open until a receipt is scanned.
KPIX reporter Betty Yu tweeted out a video of the new gates in action:
San Francisco Safeway stores install new gates to deter shoplifting 🛒— Betty Yu (@bett_yu) July 16, 2023
Safeway has installed gates inside some of their high-theft stores where customers have to scan their receipts to exit. This one is located on Webster Street. @KPIXtv @DaKPIX reports: https://t.co/gi05hGhNqu pic.twitter.com/BgLeiHq4tG
It’s a simple setup: There is an automated kiosk located at the exit of the grocery store. After scanning something printed on the receipt, the gates slide open, and the customer is free to go about their day.
At first blush, it feels like there could be a number of hassles associated with this that would turn off local customers. Apart from the actual act of always having to, effectively, “punch-out” of your grocery trip, what happens if there’s an issue with the kiosk?
KPIX notes that Safeway workers can manually override the gate to open it, but that still doesn’t account for what happens if the unit fails altogether (or if there’s a massive power outage.)
Despite those potential annoyances, local customers at these Safeways (KPIX notes that two locations in San Francisco that have adopted these sliding gates) all appear to be for it — because anything appears to be better than the crime wave that has the city in its clutches.
“Everyday,” one customer told KPIX. “You see (shoplifting), you just mind your own business.”
Another customer told KPIX that the new sliding gates are “the best.”
That same customer added: “It’s going to cut down on the crime. I guarantee it cuts down on the crime.”
“The more they shoplift, the more we have to pay for the products,” another shopper lamented to KPIX.
The outlet also noted that, across the customer spectrum, there was a lingering sense of dread about store closures, which is an issue with precedent in the Bay area.
A much-hyped new Whole Foods that opened in San Francisco lasted all of a year before a number of issues — including shoplifting — shuttered the business in April.
Time will tell if these new sliding gates can help mitigate the rampant shoplifting in the area, but that still leaves a number of other issues afflicting the jewel of Northern California — or at least the once considered jewel of NorCal.
Apart from this bubbling retail exodus, San Francisco has been subject to a string of negative headlines, ranging from the bizarre to the tragic.
Earlier this month, San Francisco mothers were being terrorized by youths with baseball bats.
In April, San Francisco was thrust into the negative spotlight when CashApp founder Bob Lee was wantonly stabbed to death in the streets.