To reduce theft, the SPAR University on campus has begun to increase checkout controls. Several people are caught stealing every day, according to manager Nils Jacobs. The SPAR is also considering the use of random checks.
Controls at the SPAR on campus were upscaled beginning in November. According to the new manager, oversight was minimal during the reign of the previous store manager, even though a lot was stolen. ‘It’s a serious issue’, Jacobs stated. Although he does not have exact numbers, he claims that many students are caught each day for theft. ‘Of course, not everyone has been caught. I believe that many more customers grab stuff without paying’, he remarked.
The agreement within the SPAR organization specifies that an employee should always be present at checkout to ensure that everything is paid for. ‘This guideline was not followed’, Jacobs recalls from before he became manager. Since November, this protocol has been followed, and during peak periods, an employee will always be there to oversee what is bought.
Jacobs hopes that by removing the incentive, students will be discouraged from stealing, even though it still occurs. ‘There are lots of cunning students who, for example, pay for a 50-cent roll while taking a wrap of 4 euros’, Jacobs adds. ‘We try to solve this politely by mentioning that they forgot to scan something, but different measures will have to be applied eventually.’
SPAR University will count their items more frequently to have a better awareness of how many things are taken without paying. During these counts, the procurement data will be compared to the sales numbers. ‘This used to happen once a year because it was so time-consuming, but we will now increase it to three or four times a year’, Jacobs explained. If it is discovered that a lot of products are being stolen, the organization will become even harsher. SPAR is considering random checks, similar to what other supermarkets have at their self-service checkouts. It is uncertain when this new policy will go into effect.
This article was published in Dutch on January 19th 2023.