Bay Area Safeways remove self-checkout machines due to theft

The grocer is making changes to the front-end of its stores because of rampant shoplifting.

Safeway has removed self-checkout machines at several stores in the San Francisco Bay Area due to a recent increase in theft.

KRON reported that Safeway decided to make changes at select stores to crack down on shoplifting. 


The big picture: Along with removing self-checkout machines, Safeway has also adjusted the front end of its stores to deter theft. 

  • Other companies in the Bay Area have also adjusted operations to combat shoplifting. For instance, Fredericksen Hardware & Paint implemented a strategy where employees accompany customers while they shop.

What we’re watching: Self-checkout machines are also being targeted by state lawmakers. 

  • The Legislature is currently taking up Senate Bill 1446, known as the Retail Theft Prevention and Safe Staffing Act. 
  • Introduced by Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D–Los Angeles), SB 1446 would ban self-checkout options unless there is a 2-to-1 machine-to-employee ratio and employees are free from other job duties.

What they’re saying: “Like other local businesses, we are working on ways to curtail escalating theft so we can ensure the wellbeing of our employees and foster a welcoming environment for our customers,” Safeway told KRON. “These long-planned security improvements were implemented with those goals in mind.”

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