Marks and Spencer is set to replace its sticker guns with laser rifles a bit like the ones used by The Federation in episodes of hit TV show Star Trek.
The upgrade in firepower will enable the supermarket retailer to apprehend shoplifters far more effectively than simply covering would-be thieves in barcode labels which, whilst being mildly inconvenient, doesn’t really act as an effective deterrent against retail theft.
Marks and Spencer’s Head of Store Security Mrs. Sissy Tevey said, “If you’re going to put the fear of God into shoplifters then you need to arm your checkout staff with weapons that offer a significantly greater threat than the prospect of being covered in best before date labels. Whilst being held down by two security guards as the kid that works behind the fish counter covers you in labels that indicate you are the produce of Australia would be deemed rather unpleasant by most people, many shoplifters these days have found ways to circumvent such security measures.”
The new lasers will apparently remove one layer of skin and instead of burning it, they simply cause the skin to retract and leave a mark on whichever part of the unfortunate shoplifter’s body has just been zapped.
M&S says that in not using traditional labelling to punish thieves, the company will save approximately 10 tonnes of paper and five tonnes of glue per year as a result.
“What we’re branding onto the criminals that are apprehended in our store with the new lasers is a best before date and there’s also a barcode so that they can be rung quickly through at the checkout till and held until the police arrive. The advantage with this new system is that it can also be used for labelling Avocados and other products with very dry, wrinkly, or shiny surfaces like coconuts or sweet potato. As a result of introducing the new technology therefore, it has become much easier to deal with elderly shoplifters that like to rob our stores covered in baby oil, suntan lotion or other such ointments that make the skin too slippery to stick a 50% off label on,” Mrs. Tevey added.