LOCAL supermarkets and stores are being ripped off daily by brazen customers who relentlessly exploit self-service checkouts.
A Wagga supermarket manager, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said customers exploiting self-service happened daily and the monetary loss would be too difficult to quantify.
“If anybody said it didn’t happen, you’d be a fool,” they said.
“It’d happen in any supermarket, daily, well and truly.”
Customers scanning fruit and vegetables through as cheaper varieties was the most common form of theft, but some just did not scan items at all.
“It’s getting worse, (but) over half of our customers use self-service. It’s all about the convenience,” the manager said.
Big W assistant manager Jane Wrona said customers scanned through expensive items as cheaper product “weekly or fortnightly”, but the majority of customers were loyal.
She said the store introduced self-serve check-outs four years ago as “convenience for customers”.
Foodworks Lake Albert owner Rod Porter refused to consider introducing self-service because it cut jobs for locals and promoted customer service.
“I refuse to go through them,” he said.
With billions of dollars being lost across Australian stores each year, businesses could follow English supermarket chain Morrisons, who announced in April they would reintroduce more than 1000 staffed checkouts to satisfy customer demand for personalised service.
A Woolworths spokesman said the company took steps to reduce shoplifting across stores, while a Coles spokesman said, “the vast majority of our customers do the right thing, and there’s always a team member in the area”.
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