Aldi staff told to refuse to serve customers if they decline new bag rule

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Aldi said the measures were not a nationwide policy across its stores (Image: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Aldi said the measures were not a nationwide policy across its stores (Image: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Aldi staff in some stores have reportedly been told not to serve customers if they refuse to have their bags searched at the tills.

One Aldi shop worker told The Grocer Magazine the bag searching policy had been introduced into their store last week with the checks being carried about by security guards and not Aldi staff. They said: "We are asking that they allow us to look in the bags to see if they are empty. We have been asking to look in the bags to make sure none of our items are in there”.

The Aldi worker then noted that those who do not comply with the bag checks will be refused the sale - although they added that this had not occurred in their particular store at the moment. The discount supermarket worker also said shoppers walking out of the store could also be stopped by security if they are suspected of theft.

Aldi told The Mirror it is not a "national policy" and said it is down to each store. The retailer said this is only happening in a small number of stores and is being used as a temporary measure. But the bag check policy is not new, and reports of Aldi stores having the measures have been around since May.

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In a post on a Aldi Facebook Group, one worker said: "New policy at Aldi, all empty shopping bags must be on the belt plus all shopping." They also noted that the policy "came in force” last week. Another Aldi worker commented sharing that it was an "awful feeling" having to ask customers.

Aldi is one of several supermarket chains to have introduced new checks in stores over the last year to prevent shoplifting as rates have skyrocketed over the course of the cost of living crisis. Food costs have increased significantly since Russia invaded Ukraine with food inflation reaching its peak in March at 19.4%.

Soaring food prices have contributed to the biggest squeeze on living standards in the UK since records began in the 1950s, and many accused the supermarket chains of profiteering from the crisis by upping prices more than needed.

Other things chains have done to prevent theft include, limiting items on shelves, adding more security tags to products, having customers scan receipts to leave the store, and displaying empty products.

An Aldi spokesperson said the bag check policy has been introduced into "some stores" as a short-term measure - but reiterated that the checks are only ever carried out with the consent of shoppers. The checks are also only done on the bags the customer is using to pack their shopping and not their handbags or personal bags.

Ruby Flanagan

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