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Shoplifters in Japan taking advantage of wider use of reusable bags to conceal goods

Supermarkets in Japan are having a difficult time combating a boosting variety of kleptomaniacs that utilize their multiple-use purchasing bags to hide overdue items.

The problem has actually developed in the 3 months given that all stores were needed to begin billing consumers for plastic bags in an initiative to decrease plastic waste.

At Akidai Sekimachi Honten, a grocery store in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, concerning 80 percent of its consumers began bringing their very own bags after July, which triggered the shop to tighten up safety versus kleptomaniacs.

Many kleptomaniacs put simply grocery stores in their very own purchasing bags and also leave, according to the shop. In one occurrence, a buyer with a shop purchasing basket consisting of overdue items bypassed the check out counter and also placed them in their very own bag.

After the occurrence, the shop began utilizing various shades for baskets prior to and also after repayment.

Another frustration for the shop is that some consumers that neglect to bring their very own purchasing bags lug grocery stores residence in shop baskets.

About 20 baskets have actually been taken in the previous couple of months, comparable to the quantity shed in one year prior to the shop began billing for plastic bags.

Some basket burglars revealed no feeling of regret. “I’ll give it back to you tomorrow,” a consumer stated to a personnel.

“We’re not OK with customers taking away baskets as they cost a few hundred yen each,” stated Hiromichi Akiba, the 52-year-old head of state of the grocery store driver.

“We thought we would be able to reduce costs by charging for plastic bags, but we’ve been facing unexpected expenditures instead,” Akiba stated.

At a various grocery store in Tokyo, the variety of theft instances gets on the increase. Over 70 percent of consumers decrease to acquire plastic bags at the shop.

“Some customers put groceries in their own bags without using shopping baskets,” an employee at the shop stated. “It’s difficult to judge whether they are stealing or not.”

In August, a not-for-profit company functioning to stop theft produced a poster revealing proper good manners when utilizing one’s very own purchasing bag.

It contacted individuals to get in shops with their bags folded up and also to utilize purchasing baskets.

“We hope to create an environment where shoplifting does not occur by making the manners widespread,” an authorities of the company stated.

Yu Ito, an expert on actions to stop theft that likewise functions as a loss avoidance police officer, stated, “It has become easier for shoplifters to blend into regular customers as it became normal for shoppers to bring their own shopping bags.”

“Store operators need to create an environment that deters shoplifting by actively speaking to customers to keep an eye on them,” Ito stated.


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