Shoplifters have boycotted Sainsbury’s in protest at the retailer’s plan to adopt checkout-less technology in stores.
The grocer conducted tests at its Euston Station branch earlier this month and local shoplifters have expressed disquiet at what they see as a threat to their traditional way of life.
Habitual kleptomaniac and part time heroin user Mr. Ivor Needle said, “shoplifters have always traditionally been able to distinguish themselves from the rest of the population by our twitchy glances and shifty demeanour every time we enter a retail establishment. Our concern is that nobody will be able to tell we’re not law abiding members of society if nobody pays at the checkout anymore, and we’ll be forced to do something really horrible like weeing in the street just to get arrested. I’m fully aware that digital disruption has affected many industries, but shoplifting occupies a unique place in the history of British culture and should be given a protected status like black cabs and jokes about the Irish.”
The new technology allows time-poor commuters to scan items with their phone before leaving the store without queuing at the checkout, and light-fingered larcenists have complained that they no longer get chased by store security anymore as most people who don’t scan their items properly and set the alarms off these days simply haven’t topped up their pay as you go phones with extra data.
Shoplifters have said that they may be willing to accept a compromise by using the Sainsbury’s “SmartShop” app that allows customers to scan items with their phone and pay at the checkout; this would at least provide the option of not paying, thus allowing professional pilferers the opportunity to look at least a bit dodgy when sprinting out of the store carrying a 42” flat screen TV.
“Shoplifters really value the one to one personal interaction they receive when a store security guard that was clearly bullied at school kicks them in the nuts whilst placing them in a choke hold on the floor. In our opinion it would be a shame to see such time honoured traditions disappear simply because of new technology,” Mr. Needle added.