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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 09-Oct-18

 


Sunday 07-October-18

Flashing blue lights and theft dissuasion: Innovation in the Supermarket

I was in a Co-operative supermarket recently and spotted a curious feature. Inside the store, on a wall by the exit, was a blue flashing light. It was a couple of inches across, with a blue transparent cover and a regular pulsed light from inside.

What's this, I wondered. Was it a fire or burglar alarm malfunctioning? And then another use came to mind. What it it was a subtle shoplifting dissuasion? It looked just like a police light. It was the right colour and flash rate. And the flashing certainly grabbed attention. So as you approach the exit, you are reminded of the police, amplifying any fear of being caught and perhaps turning you around to replace or pay for any taken goods.

Shoplifting is a real dilemma and retailers regularly account for a significant percentage of 'shrinkage'. There are of course the usual cameras and signs, but it is nice to see creative alternatives. Many years ago I was surprised to be greeted by an nice old lady, just like my grandmother, as I entered a Walmart. This of course associates her with the shop and dissuades me from shoplifting. After all, you wouldn't steal from your granny, would you?


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