Safeway Installs Receipt Scanners in High-Theft Area Stores

Albertsons-owned banner verifies that shoppers have paid for items in carts before exiting the store
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Safeway Exterior
Safeway is installing receipt-scanning gates at its stores to combat theft.

In an effort to deter shoplifting, Albertsons Cos.-owned Safeway is installing high-tech security gates at the exit in some of its San Francisco- and Washington D.C.-area stores.

As reported by The U.S. Sun, this security measure means that the exit at a self-checkout area will be closed off with a gate that customers can open by scanning their receipts before leaving.

According to Albertsons, these changes were made to improve customers’ in-store experience. While the changes were implemented to “maintain a safe and welcoming shopping experience,” the company also confirmed that the gates were indeed an anti-theft measure.

[RELATED: Grocers Grapple With Theft Issues as Year Begins]

“Those updates include operational changes to the front end of the stores to deter shoplifting,” the retailer said.

The scanners intake a receipt after a shopper pays for his or her items and confirms that the items in the cart match up with the shopper's total. 

“Like other local businesses, we are working on ways to curtail escalating theft so we can ensure the well-being of our employees and foster a welcoming environment for our customers,” Albertsons said.

Retail crime in the San Francisco and Washington D.C., areas is an ongoing issue. Last year, Whole Foods Market at Trinity Place in downtown San Francisco was forced to close its doors due to rampant crime in the area. Big-box retailer Target Corp. also decided to close three stores in the San Francisco area due to violence, theft and safety concerns.

Meanwhile in the Washington D.C., area, Giant Food has implemented various strategies to combat shoplifting, even going as for as to remove high-theft national brands from its shelves.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies, 400-plus associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 19 manufacturing facilities. It has stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 24 banners, among them Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market. Albertsons is No. 9 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Amazon, which is No. 2 on The PG 100. Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6, while Landover, Md.-based Giant Food's parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, is No. 10 on The PG 100.

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