Self-checkouts are watching you: Woolworths and Coles have installed cameras that show shoppers scanning their goods to stop them from swiping groceries
Source:www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ | Author:By MARY MRAD and ALANA MAZZONI FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA | Publish time: 2019-05-13 | 422 Views | Share:

Self-checkouts are watching you: Woolworths and Coles have installed cameras that show shoppers scanning their goods to stop them from swiping groceries

·          Supermarkets installed cameras at self-serve checkout to combat shoplifting 

·         The camera films customers and plays the footage back to them in real time 

·         Loss of inventory is estimated to cost Australian retailers $4.5 billion a year

·         Some customers say the cameras are an invasion of privacy and waste of money 

Woolworths and Coles have installed cameras in a bid to stop shoppers from stealing or incorrectly scanning items. 

Both supermarket giants have been trialling new technologies at their self-service checkouts this month to combat shoplifting.

Customers who take products without paying are though to cost Australian retailers around $4.5 billion a year. 

The new anti-theft methods include installing a CCTV system which films customers as they scan their items, playing it back to them in real-time to make them feel as thought they are being watched. 

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Both supermarket giants have been trialling new technologies at their self-serve checkouts this month to combat shoplifting (pictured: Coles camera)

'We know the vast majority of our customers do the right thing at self-serve checkouts. This is a security measure we're trialing for those that don't,' a Woolworths spokesperson said in a statement. 

'The store has eight manned checkout lanes, and we've hired 40 customer service team members, for customers who prefer to interact with our team as they checkout,' the spokesperson said.  

Woolworths have said they have worked carefully to ensure cameras can't view the Eftpos PIN pad and the technology is compliant with payment card security standards. 

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The CCTV system films customers as they scan their items and plays the footage back to them in real time - hoping to make people feel like they're being watched so they don't steal

Earlier this month, Coles also installed tablet computer-sized cameras at the top of its self-service checkouts in 12 Melbourne stores, to combat theft. 

The cameras sit directly above the checkout monitors so customers can watch themselves load up their shopping into bags on a screen, but it's not known whether the footage is being recorded or not.  

A 2018 Canstar survey found that seven per cent of Australians admitted they had stolen an item without scanning it, and nine per cent said they had scanned something as a cheaper product. 

The tablet-sized cameras have been installed in up to 12 Coles supermarkets across Melbourne.  

Coles received backlash from customers, saying they felt that their privacy had been invaded by the large cameras. 

'I do sympathise with the scourge/cost of robbers -aka shoplifters- but I STRONGLY resent being automatically fielded as being potentially one of their number, and obliged to prove that I am not,' one shopper wrote on Facebook


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Woolworths have said they have worked carefully to ensure cameras can't view the PIN pad and is compliant with payment card security standards

'The more they crack down, the less likely I am to shop where I am regarded as a potential criminal.'

'I don't like that feeling of being under observation when I am shopping,' a Melbourne shopper told The Herald Sun.

'They know what I'm spending and buying through FlyBuys and this is another way of watching me.'

Other customers pointed out that Coles and Woollies should get rid of self-service checkouts altogether, and put the money towards hiring more workers.

'Bring back checkout staff. See not hard to beat pilfering and keep people employed,' one user wrote. 

'Would have been cheaper all round to just put the staff on needed to man registers...' another said. 

'Supermarkets should stop pumping money into these useless machines and start putting it in the pockets of actual hard working people!'  

'Should never have been introduced see what happens in the coming years when your kids can't get a part time job,' read another comment.