Waitrose to use ‘love-bombing’ technique to deter shoplifters

Waitrose has found an innovative way to deter shoplifters, which the supermarket has named ‘love-bombing’.

The new scheme aims to tackle in-store theft by having Waitrose workers be extra mindful of customers and attending to their every need, according to The Grocer.

As a result, the upmarket retailer is training staff to be “extra attentive, causing thieves to think twice”, including by asking if help is needed at self-checkouts.

Following a successful pilot carried out across six branches earlier this year, the training has now been rolled out across all branches. The aim is to make would-be thieves more conscious of shopworkers’ presence and therefore give them fewer opportunities to steal.

Participating stores had also seen small increases in both the size and value of shoppers’ baskets, which Waitrose said indicated potential shoplifters were being deterred.

The trial had proved particularly effective at countering theft at self-checkouts, for example where shoplifters would fail to scan items or put them through as cheaper alternatives, Waitrose said.

Subscribe to Grocery Gazette for free

Sign up here to get the latest grocery and food news each morning

Head of security at Waitrose, Nicki Juniper, told The Grocer: “We’ve long been known for our friendly service, but it turns out that the more attentive we are, the less likely people are to steal,”

“It’s a win-win: our customers get a great shopping experience, with partners visibly on hand to help, while the would-be shoplifters are deterred.”

“Shoplifting costs the UK economy over £1bn a year. While it’s a sector-wide issue, we’ve found a very Waitrose way to tackle it,” Juniper added.

“This isn’t just about doing the right thing; cutting these losses could save us millions each year. That’s money we can invest in lowering prices and supporting British farmers – things that really matter,” she said.

The BRC’s 2023 Crime Survey Report found that retailers spent £715m on crime prevention since the Covid-19 pandemic, while £953m was lost to customer theft across eight million incidents.



2 Comments. Leave new

  • Patrick Johnson
    July 9, 2023 5:05 am

    I would set up a pair of automatic turrets behind or above the customer ready to fire if they steal. They’re the reason my snacks have gone up

  • Jim Murdoch
    July 10, 2023 2:16 pm

    “Here’s a great idea- why don’t we apply basic shopkeeping principles?”. Are these people for real?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.