Shoppers rage against supermarket’s scan-receipt-to-exit policy

A busy Sainsbury’s store (Michael McHugh/PA)
A busy Sainsbury’s store (Michael McHugh/PA)

A number of Sainsbury’s customers have taken to social media to criticise the British supermarket for introducing a scheme in some stores requiring shoppers to scan their receipt before exiting self-checkout areas.

The proof-of-purchase barriers are not new, according to Sainsbury’s, but some shoppers appear to have only recently noticed and taken to Twitter and Reddit to express their fury.

“Essentially they are holding [people] hostage against their will as they refuse to let people leave without scanning a receipt that not everyone chooses to get in the first place,” posted one particularly hot-headed individual.

“What will they do? Hold someone hostage and rifle through bags before releasing you?”

Another shopper described the policy as an “appalling way to treat customers”, while a third declared, somewhat hysterically, that their honour had been impugned.

“I’ve been loyal to Sainsbury’s for 30 years,” they wrote. “Now it stops. How dare you insult me, by scanning receipts to leave. Not even the discounters do this. No warning, no instore signage and it doesn’t work, my receipt had to be reprinted. Farewell you untrusting store.”

Another person expressed resentment at the extra workload involved: “So it appears that Sainsbury’s Redhill no longer trust you and a till receipt is required to get out of till areas.

“Not only do they expect you to do your own bagging and own till work for free, they want you to prove you have done it!”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson, seeking to quell the outbreak of retail rage, said the measure is “not a new security measure and features in a small number of our stores at the self-service checkout areas”.

The supermarket is by no means the first to introduce such a requirement, with some branches of Tesco Express, Primark, Ikea and Costco also reportedly trialling or implementing similar policies, which are also common in many European countries.

It comes as The Daily Telegraph reports a 16 per cent increase in shoplifting incidents between July and October this year, apparently the result of the cost of living crisis forcing some consumers to resort to stealing as prices on the shelves continue to rise.

Sainbsury’s and Tesco reportedly accounted for 40 per cent of all cases.