WALGREENS has launched a new anti-theft store that has locked most of its products apart from what they consider essential.
The theft-proof Walgreens store is located in downtown Chicago, Illinois, and customers must pass through metal detectors to get inside.
According to Walgreens, there will only be two aisles of essential products that can be physically touched.
“We are testing a new experience in this store with new concepts, technologies and practices to improve the experience of our customers and team members,” a Walgreens spokesman said in one opinion.
All products will still be available in store, but for some you will need to ask a member of staff at a kiosk to pick them up for you from a locked area.
“It continues to offer retail products and pharmacy services, only with a new look that focuses on convenient digital shopping,” the statement continued.
“Within the store, customers will find an area where they can pick up orders, digital kiosks for ordering, and an area where they can shop for essential items.”
According to interviews, locals have mixed feelings about the new anti-theft store Block Club Chicago.
Jacoby Gunn, a street cleaner, believes the new theft scheme is a product of racial profiling in the area.
“I don’t understand why they had to move everything backwards in just this store. … Crime is everywhere,” Gunn said.
“It’s racial profiling. Why don’t you trust your customers?”
While local customer Sirak Goitom said he found it “confusing to walk through the store”.
“The way it was set up before, it was easier to get in and out of,” Goitom said.
“I don’t think it’s good for business. And security can’t get much better when there’s a self checkout.”
Mu Ergin, a South Loop resident and regular at the store, said they like that the new facility is cleaner than before.
“I’m quite amazed at how tidier the store looks now. They make it smaller so they can control it better,” Ergin said.
“It’s better for me … but I’ve never felt unsafe from the start.”
Theft has become a major problem for retail stores, resulting in millions of dollars in losses.