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Reader Poll: 17th Street Safeway Bag Check

From Mike Kohn. Got some news for Mike? Find him on Twitter @mike_kohn or drop him a line at mike@borderstan.com.

By now, you’ve probably noticed the fun new addition to our local 17th Street Safeway — the receipt check that is required before you can exit the store. While we all had a sneaking suspicion what the root cause was, it took an inquiry from the ANC to get to the bottom it. As Washington City Paper reveals, this is an attempt to curb shoplifting from the store. According to Safeway spokesman Craig Muckle, this is something that’s being instituted in stores that have the bag fee (so, basically, around DC and in Baltimore City), mirroring similar attempts to prevent theft by Walmart and Costco.

Apparently, Safeway has noticed an uptick in people using bags to carry their items in a supposed attempt to avoid the bag tax and then casually sneak past the cashiers without paying. So it’s not that they care what you have in your bags, they just care that you paid, period.

If the comments from City Paper and the Dupont Forum on Yahoo! Groups are any indication, Safeway’s bag check has not been a particularly popular introduction. And that’s putting it lightly. People have pointed out that people were allowed to carry personal shopping bags before the bag tax was introduced, and are questioning what effect this will have. This comment was my personal favorite:

“… I don’t mind the check, but at my S/W, it causes a clustermess as people have to wait in line to exit the store while others are trying to get past said line to get in and grab a cart. Like salmon swimming upstream AND downstream through a very narrow river separated only by a median of cheap baked goods.”

So what say you, Borderstan? Impressed that Safeway is going out on a limb to prevent theft from its stores? Irritated that the new procedure is holding you up from doing better things? Indifferent to the introduction altogether? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

This post was written by:

- who has written 68 posts on Borderstan.

Kohn writes, edits and serves as the HR Guy for the Borderstan team. When’s not working on Borderstan.com he is competing in ballroom dance competitions up and down the Atlantic Coast. Follow him on Twitter @mike_kohn; email him at mike[AT]borderstan.com.

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5 Responses to “Reader Poll: 17th Street Safeway Bag Check”

  1. kdog says:

    I say “no thank you” and keep on walking. It is not a mandatory check.

  2. Mandy says:

    The Safeway at City Vista is doing the same thing. Same backed up line trying to leave the store through a narrow line while 1 person checks receipts. The City Vista Safeway is N-A-S-T-Y and the employees are R-U-D-E !!! I walk in once every 2-3 weeks for an emergency roll of toilet paper and that’s it. Why anyone would shop at a Safeway in DC is beyond me. With Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Harris Teeter around, why put your self through all that.

  3. M says:

    I hate that store. Just one more reason not to shop at the Soviet Safeway. The obviously rotting produce, the horrible selection, the surly employees, panhandlers stationed outside, non-existent parking, and now this. No thanks.

  4. I boycotted this Safeway, effective June 2011 when their piss poor customer service got me for the absolutely last time. I cannot believe that they have the nerve to charge what they do, they are more expensive than Whole Foods on several items. They should be ashamed of themselves, and we need to demand a better neighborhood grocery store.

    I pretend they don’t even exist anymore and frankly, it’s been such a pleasure. Everyone should boycott that stupid place.

  5. There’s no real legal grounds for a bag/receipt check unless the store has just cause to suspect someone of shoplifting. When the checks are performed on every single person, just cause doesn’t even come into it.

    As others have noted, it’s less offensive and more bothersome. Most times I say no thanks and keep on walking. I think only in Costco is it a requirement of membership to submit to a receipt check on demand.

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