Sainsbury’s customers slam latest security barrier rollout requiring shoppers to scan receipts

Sainsbury’s shoppers have criticised the introduction of new security barriers which prevent customers from leaving until they scan their receipt.

The supermarket chain has been trialing the new security gates at self-checkouts in some of its stores since December, which affected a much smaller proportion of customers at the time.

Now that more stores have rolled out the latest anti-theft measures, Sainsbury’s has witnessed a second wave of backlash as shoppers have accused Sainsbury’s of placing all its customers “under suspicion of stealing”.

Stores in Balham, South London and Winnersh, Berkshire are amongst some of those impacted by the new move.

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The new security measures follow new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last September, which revealed shoplifting had increased by 22% in 2022.

Additionally, Tesco and Sainsbury’s accounted for two-fifths (40%) of shoplifting cases overall last year, as more thieves target supermarkets as inflation continues to rise.

The figures coincide with the growing financial pressures faced by UK households amid the cost of living crisis – with food inflation rising by nearly 20% in the space of a year.

Aldi, Morrisons and Primark have also introduced similar barriers as concerns grow about the rise in theft.

Social media users voiced their complaints online, one said: “Probably the last time I use Sainsbury’s! The town supermarket has installed a barrier and receipt scanning system. It is not security it is surveillance and imprisonment.”

Another complained: “I bumped into the barriers! This Sainsbury’s doesn’t let you leave the self-checkout area unless you scan your receipt. How charming.”

One customer voiced on Twitter: “I shop at Sainsbury’s, and they’ve just installed these extra barriers at the self checkout, which is already a nightmare to negotiate. People have been utterly taken aback by them, because it’s such an odd – and aggressive – extra layer of security.”



6 Comments. Leave new

  • Staff in all supermarkets are affected by shoplifters, suffering verbal abuse or violence if they approach them. It also upsets customers who see items being removed and staff can’t do anything. Stores are losing a lot of stock this way which we would all rather see proceeds going to staff instead. There are even gangs in cities going from store to store, walking in and stealinglarge quantities of food and alcohol. This is a very serious problem but anything that makes staff feel safer must be worthwhile. It would be better to find a way that doesn’t affect honest customers, any ideas?

  • Being a mobility scooter user I won’t be using Sainsbury’s again as to dangerous . So bye bye and watch how many customers you lose .

  • Lisa Baxter
    May 6, 2023 7:06 am

    I work in a supermarket, 195 thousand pounds last year in shoplifting alone, I don’t see the problem in barriers, so what u have to scan your receipt, must take all of 2 seconds, if someone was coming in your home & stealing, you would take precautions, it’s getting ridiculous with theft & the more they steal the more your shopping bill will go up, you have to pay for your shop why shouldn’t they, stop moaning about irrelevant things that don’t make things any harder for honest shoppers but will stop scumbags profiting from their thieving ways, get a job & pay for your goods like most normal people do & get a life all you saddo moaners bleating on about scanning receipts, if you’ve paid for your shopping you’ve got nothing to worry about.

  • Al Archibald
    August 1, 2023 5:12 pm

    My closest Sainsbury’s in Hitchin never had the barriers.
    My second closest (bigger) Sainsbury’s in Letchworth had them but have now removed them.

  • What are supermarkets supposed to do? Keep on calling the police, most of the time they do not attend. Any measures to combat theft and robberies should be welcomed as threats, violence to managers and staff have reached unprecedented levels.

    Police do not have the resources to deal with the ever increasing levels of crime. Shoplifters are becoming more brazen in their approach and the fear of getting caught is no longer there.

    All managers, colleagues & security in supermarkets are earning a living just like the rest of us and have every right to work in a safe environment without the constant fear of being attacked leading to possible psychological traumas.

    Whilst I appreciate ordinary customers should not be inconvenienced or become under suspicion scanning a receipt takes less than a minute way quicker than the days of the heightened covid pandemic and the inconveniences that was caused as a result.

    Also if like me who shops at Costco where every trolley full with bulky items are checked by staff at the exit against your receipt quite often with a long queue that causes delays lasting several minutes. I don’t see anyone complaining or moaning and yet customers continue to shop there and they are very unlikely to have the levels of shop lifting that supermarkets face.

    Perhaps the way forward would be to use the membership-only method like Costco and only allow customers with Sainsburys Nectar card entry only method thus denying shoplifters entry.

    I am sure this would also be slammed by ordinary customers, at least this way you know that the customers in the store are decent honest hard working people just doing their shopping in a safe environment without the constant risk of threats, aggression, violence, attacks, etc.

  • Catherine Goodfellow-Orr
    January 29, 2024 10:37 am

    Now the high street shops are priced out by supermarkets they now have the power to control/ dictate who and how we behave. Indirect discrimination to customers we are all under suspicion now.


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