An increase in crime has resulted in the Giant Food store at 3131 Duke Street locking one of its two front doors, as staff say that shoplifting has become a daily occurrence.
“It’s kids, grownups, everybody,” store manager Zaina Calo told ALXnow. “They try to steal fish, and from the whole meat and seafood department, wine. It doesn’t matter. Anything, really.”
Last month, an employee got maced when he confronted a suspected shoplifter. The suspect walked into the store wearing brass knuckles and armed with mace, Calo said. He has not been arrested, but has been banned from the store. Store staff call the police when the suspect arrives, but he leaves before they arrive, she said.
“Shoplifting happens every day,” Calo said. “It’s gotten pretty bad, but honestly it’s getting a lot safer with our door closed, with our hours reduced.”
Changes at the store include reducing store operations by an hour to 10 p.m., limiting the number of items customers can take to self-checkout aisles and locking one of two entrances. Now customers at the store have to walk past checkout counters, the customer service counter and a bank before walking out.
Shoppers at Giant Food stores are now greeted at the front door with the following message from Giant President Ira Kress:
You may notice changes to your checkout experience as you are shopping with us today. Due to a significant increase in crime and theft that we and many other retailers are experiencing across our market area, we have made several changes to our operating procedures to mitigate the impact of theft to our business. We know that these changes may cause some inconvenience or be disruptive to the experience you are used to, and I assure you we are making these changes out of necessity to prioritize the safety of our associates and customers.
We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure you receive an exceptional experience every time you shop with us and on behalf of Giant Food, we appreciate your patience and understanding.
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