Until Piggly Wiggly opened the first self-service grocery store in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1916, shoppers would provide a list of desired items to a clerk, who would gather the items from wherever they were located in the store.
Welcome back to the future.
A revamped Walgreens location in downtown Chicago reopened Tuesday with only two shoppable aisles of so-called “essentials” — presumably inexpensive items not typically shoplifted.
If a customer wants anything not on display in one of those aisles, he can order it from a kiosk and pick up your order from the counter.
“Let us do the shopping” a sign next to one of the tablet-sized kiosks read (emphasis original).
The sign also encouraged shoppers to “relax while we shop for you,” although where exactly in the two-aisle section of the store accessible to customers they were supposed to relax wasn’t clear.
While the company attempted to sell the changes as aimed at “customer service,” it seemed clear that loss mitigation was a more important factor in the redesign.
“This redesigned store will have the latest in e-commerce offerings to increase customer service, mitigate theft, and increase safety for our customers and employees,” the company said in an email to a local resident, according to CWBChicago, which labeled the location an “anti-theft” store.
Walgreens told the outlet Thursday that the company was “testing a new experience at this store with new concepts, technologies, and practices to enhance the experiences of our customers and team members.”
The CWBChicago who decided to try out the new system was almost overcharged for the bottle of Coke he purchased when it rang it up as $2.89 instead of the $1.89 it was priced at.
It took two store employees to correct the problem, the outlet said.
Reactions to the new store online were not generally positive.
THANKS TO LIBERAL SOFT ON CRIME POLICIES, THIS IS OUR FUTURE
Walgreens debuts new ‘anti-theft’ store – customers hate it https://t.co/QHzivo6a8h
— John (@GodFamily_USA) June 2, 2023
The left’s “we don’t prosecuted theft” is destroying America. Walgreens in #Chicago is pushing a new technology where you have to order most items digitally and a worker has to shop for you. The two aisles where you can shop two employees will watch you. https://t.co/WIypFiv2SE
— MJ Stock Trader (@stock_mj) June 2, 2023
I don’t blame any company for trying to stem loss prevention and theft but this design looks inconvenient especially for seniors and disabled. Plus I resent that as a society we all have to always change our ways of living to accommodate criminals and reprobates.
— RABmba (@bygoneerrors) June 1, 2023
I am never shopping like that.
I’ll just avoid Chicago.
— gringa novelera (@gringanovelera) June 1, 2023
The company may want to think about opening similar stores in crime-ridden San Francisco, where a woman was arrested Thursday during a traffic stop after more than $1,000 worth products shoplifted from a local Walgreens location were found in her car, according to KRON.
The woman, 33-year-old Latisha Vandycke, was charged with “shoplifting and other theft-related charges,” the outlet reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.