Courtesy of Abundance Cooperative Market
http://www.abundance.coop

If It's In the Bag

02/10/10

We need your help in alleviating the current difficulty of discerning possible shoplifters from well-intentioned shoppers.

New Policy Starts April 22, 2010

We’ve noticed many of our regular customers using their own shopping bags rather than baskets to hold items while shopping in the store. We wholly support the use of re-usable shopping bags, and really appreciate the care that you bring by practicing the “re-use” part of the recycling model. Unfortunately there are two problems associated with using your own bag before paying for your items.

First, you may have noticed that the checkout process is slowed when it involves emptying the bag onto the checkout counter so that items can be rung up by the cashier, who then must place the items into the same bag. Whenever possible, our cashiers try to scan then load items directly into your bag.

The other downside lies with the legal definition of shoplifting, which says theft occurs at the moment a shopper places an unpaid item on his person or in her personal belongings. Without this definition we would be forced to wait until someone leaves the store before trying to catch them— which is difficult to do and can also be dangerous.

So, the practice of using your own shopping bag to hold not-yet-paid-for items, is problematic. We’d like to fix this not only to make the lines move a bit faster, but also to help alleviate the current difficulty in discerning possible shoplifters from well-intentioned shoppers.

Beginning April 22, this practice will no longer be permitted, and all customers will be required to use a cart or basket for items not carried in your arms.

Our staff will be enforcing this new rule for all customers. We recognize that it may take some time for all of our customers to remember the new shopping policy. If you should forget, please understand the staff person coming around to request that you use a cart is just doing her/his job. We thank you for your cooperation.