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can stores make you leave your backpack at the front counter

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20 replies to this topic

#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Jeremy Illingworth

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Posted May 18 2002 - 02:14 PM

I hate stores that do that. I'm not a thief and dislike being treated like one the minute I walk in. If I'm suspicious why don't they have a floor walker follow me instead? Anyways, can they make you? I'm guessing the can since it is private property. jeremy

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Mario Bartel

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Posted May 18 2002 - 02:37 PM

Six or seven years ago, I dropped into a national grocery chainstore to pick up a few things while running some other errands. I was on my bike, and I had a knapsack to carry my purchases. At least, that was my plan. When the security dude stopped me at the entrance and told me I'd have to check my knapsack, I told him I needed it to carry my purchases, and that I didn't want to be forced to pay the few extra pennies for plastic shopping bags I didn't need. He continued to insist I needed to check my bag. So I left. And I have made it a point never to shop at that particular chain ever again.
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#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Shane Gralaw

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Posted May 18 2002 - 03:51 PM

I don't see a problem with checking a backpack. Even if you are not a thief, you would still have to pay higher prices to make up for the scumbags who are, or to pay for more employees to waste time following you around to make sure you don't steal anything. You may not like that you have to lock your doors when you leave the house, but you do it because that's reality.

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Mitty


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Posted May 18 2002 - 09:34 PM

I have the same policy at these stores that I do with stores that lock everything behind glass cases. I just don't shop there. I don't ultimately give a shit about their cost issues with theft. They have simply made a decision that the consumer's inconvenience is in more suited to their interests than opting for enough staff to provide reasonable security. There is a chain of stores here in BC (Real Canadian Superstore) which a) makes you leave (not check, just leave in a rack anyone can root through) your bag, and b) keeps everything media-related in a glass case that you have to try and find someone to open. Also the multimedia counter is also the film processing kiosk, so there is always a line. Screw 'em. They have competitive prices, but it's just too frustrating and annoying to shop there.

#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Carl Johnson

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Posted May 18 2002 - 10:08 PM

I can't say that I'm against this policy, if it were my store I'd ban backpacks too.

#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Shane Gralaw

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Posted May 19 2002 - 09:13 PM

I don't know about that. Every store around here that requires checked backpacks keeps them behind a counter in cubby holes and gives the customer a ticket to reclaim the bag later. So the "we're concerned about the theft of our goods, but we don't mind putting your at risk" thing should go both ways. A store shouldn't have an open door policy for shoplifters just because you feel slightly inconvenienced, if they make the effort to keep your bag secured. I have little sympathy for those who are so cavalier about the store's losses- usually such policies arise from experience. They wouldn't require it if they weren't getting ripped off on a regular basis.

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   brian a

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Posted May 19 2002 - 10:38 PM


and that I didn't want to be forced to pay the few extra pennies for plastic shopping bags I didn't need


You have to pay for your bags?

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming



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Posted May 19 2002 - 11:39 PM


You have to pay for your bags?


happens in green-conscious Europe too. it's to encourage people to bring their own shopping bags/carts, and to save on plastic waste.

of course, out here in Singapore, the public would revolt if the supermarkets tried that... Posted Image

#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Brian Mansure

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Posted May 20 2002 - 04:54 AM


Can you imagine the outrage if a woman with a large purse were told that she'd have to leave it in a pile by the door? The whole thing seems rather sexist to me, since purses can be (and sometimes are) used for theft, just as a backpack could be, yet no one would question the carrying of a purse.


Modern day double-standard maybe?

My comments are not meant as a bash on women, just commenting on the above quote.



#10 of 21 OFFLINE   AllanN


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Posted May 20 2002 - 05:05 AM

I have never had it happen to me at the grocery store, or at a major chain store. But the when I was in high school, they local convience stores would make you leave your bags at the door. They even went as far as saying that only 2 students at a time could enter the store. I never actuially say them enforce the 2 student rule. I did have to leave my backpack at the door. At least until I was 16 then I left my bakpack in my POS car. I really didt care about it because I knew there where asshole kids that tried to shoplift all the time and the convience stores where on a major route for kinds walking home in about 3/4 of the town. What pissed me off is that the school has some stupid rule that you could get suspended for dooing someting stupid while walking home from school. i.e. smokeing
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#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted May 20 2002 - 11:29 AM

I always think it's funny I can't carry a large shopping bag (From a differant store) or a backpack into some stores, but I can carry a five-pound revlover into same stores with no questions asked (I have a conceal & carry permit)Posted Image
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#12 of 21 OFFLINE   CharlesD



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Posted May 20 2002 - 11:49 AM

The store is provate property and its up to them if they want to have such a policy. Personally I would find it rude and insulting and would chose not to do business with them.

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   RobertR


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Posted May 20 2002 - 12:12 PM

They're free to have that policy and you're free not to shop there.

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted May 21 2002 - 08:13 AM

It seems few of the people replying to this thread have ever worked retail. It's a good idea if you're in retail to not help shoplifters by making their life easier. They don't know you from Adam when you walk in there. It's ludicrous to complain about them wanting to check your bags.Posted Image
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#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted May 21 2002 - 10:00 AM

I have asked off duty policemen to not carry their firearms (which in the south they do) into my store. I don't like guns, and I never will. The real question isn't why don't thye allow you to carry in backpacks, but why do you need to wear that backpack (and the same question goes out to oversize ladies purses)?

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Jefferson


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Posted May 21 2002 - 10:37 AM

Was the question, why carry the backpack in the first place? Well, in the city I live in people are on foot and do not have a car or glove compartment or trunk in which to carry their umbrella, walkman, cd players or to transport things to and from work. My guess is that nine out of 10 people I see in this city carry a backpack or satchel or purse when they are out of their homes. And I don't mind when I'm asked to check it, as long as I get it back again.

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

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Posted May 21 2002 - 10:49 AM


The real question isn't why don't thye allow you to carry in backpacks, but why do you need to wear that backpack (and the same question goes out to oversize ladies purses)?

Nobody has to justify their reasons for carrying backpacks, oversized purses, etc. It is quite frankly nobody else's business.

I understand why some stores do this. Usually, they're little privately owned mini-marts where the owner eventually gets fed up with theft and begins treating all customers as potential thieves. There was a "Ron's Food Mart" down the street from the high school I attended. As the years progressed Ron (I assume the owner's name was Ron) added mirrors, then security cameras, then required the high school kids to leave their backpacks on the sidewalk out front, etc. The last time I was there he had a full magnetic-tag system installed (you know, the type you walk through at the door), bars on the windows, wire mesh around the cash register area, huge signs warning of death and eternal damnation should you try anything funny, etc. The most expensive thing in that store would have been a case of beer - it was just a mini-mart, for crying out loud. Either Ron was paranoid or simply had been robbed one too many times.

At any rate, while I am sympathetic to the plight of store owners such as Ron, I still won't give him my business if he's going to treat me like a thief. I'll simply shop elsewhere.

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Kim Donald

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Posted May 21 2002 - 12:30 PM

I always loved that the Strand Bookstore on B'way in NYC does require Large Purses to be checked along with backpacks, If you have anything inside that you don't want to check you are given a clear plastic bag for such items and still must check your bag/purse or shop somewhere else. Its the only store in NY that I never minded checking my backpack at. kd

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Jeremy Illingworth

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Posted May 21 2002 - 04:07 PM

The store that propted the thread was Totem, a home renovation store. The two things that surprised me were that I've gone in there many times with my backpack (I ride my bike to Costco every Saturday for exercise and its on the way back) without a problem and the fact that its the only store I know of in town that does this. Most things there are so big that they still wouldn't fit. Anything thats not big is worth ten cents or has a security tag on it, like brass valves. It also annoys me a bit because I spend a lot of money there and most importantly, I don't like being treated like a thief. I worked in retail and my father used to own a retail store and I think it is too much. So I will not boycott them, but will reduce the amount I spend there. Until we get a Home Depot, there is little alternative. jeremy

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   BenjaminG


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Posted May 21 2002 - 04:44 PM

I work at Woolworths in Australia (16 yo student - pays for the DVD's), and we have the right ask to check peoples bags if they are bigger than an A4 sheet of paper. We don't mind if they bring it in, and they can also leave it behind the "service desk" (not aptly named!). We don't have the right to physically touch their bag though.

I was asked to leave my bag behind the desk at Harvey Norman, equivalent of Circuit City, and I refused, as I would not be able to see it, and I left.

Then got Dad to ring up and complain!Posted Image

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