Can a store afford sending away loyal customers due to inability to stop shoplifting? Weren’t we having hard times with the bad economy? Wasn’t every customer supposed to be precious? Obviously not…

We are having a party of 20 people scheduled for the weekend - so we hit the local Springs Liquor Outlet (North Carefree and Tutt, in Colorado Springs) last night just to find that it has recently imposed a "No-Purse Policy". 

Very annoying. We have run into such Stone-Age policies across Eastern European countries and they surely made customers feel deprived of their rights.

We are wine lovers. We also entertain often so we are used to buying wine and beer from that store. Our account with these guys has been quite a good one and yet the management has chosen to discriminate loyal customers so that shoplifters can feel non-discriminated and welcome there. Very smart business decision.  After dealing with shoplifters for a while – can’t you really tell who’s one and who’s not?

I personally do not care if other customers consider this policy reasonable or try to get in store’s shoes. I do not feel that way at all.

It is highly discriminating for me. A shop assistant stopped me at the entrance and advised me to leave my purse (size: 7”x 11”) in the car and take my wallet only. So, what if I have had a history of a car being broken into and stuff stolen? What if I do not have pockets on me and carrying my stuff in my hands is not okay with me? After discussions with the store manager, I was told that they do not know who is potential shoplifter or not, so they treat everyone equally. The purse size did not matter either as women with larger purses felt discriminated by the size issue. So, now it is fair to everyone. Really???

My purse looks like the smallest in the world but it is stuffed up to the brim with all the important things in life I might need throughout my days. And I like it that way. Small but stuffed.

I surely would not need my lip gloss while I am shopping at the Springs Liquor Outlet, this is obvious – the same might also refer to my small perfume, some of the medications I have in my purse, my eye drops, or coupons for other stores, etc. I might not need those items in this store.

But - how about the following: car keys, wallet, cell phone, tissues, even my EpiPen? Can I easily carry them all in my hands or am I supposed to tuck them inside pockets I am supposed to have on me? So, pockets are a requirement now?

My car keys chain is an impressive collection of about 10 keys. Not so bad but I should carry a handful of metal in my hand - and even if I had pockets – I surely could not comfortably insert that key chain in (unless I wear cargo pants). Then comes my wallet - it looks like any woman’s wallet you can imagine: documents and cards inside, and all the other stuff possible that I always have in it. Then comes my cell phone - well, my iPhone is a pretty sizy phone although slim, and I need to have it with me. Also, I have the habit of carrying a package of tissues around - I sneeze and have tearful eyes when I am inside premises with high air-conditioning and lower access of fresh air. How about the EpiPen? Not the smallest in size either, and no one knows when would need it.

BTW, how about the worst scenario - if any female customer that has left her purse in her cat gets an allergic reaction due to any reason while inside that store - what should happen then? - maybe a shop assistant would grab her keys, rush to her car and go through her purse to find the EpiPen? So, if any such thing happens shall customers sue the store or maybe it should not be held liable for anything?

So, since I have called myself a “multi-handed Shiva”, I should use all my pairs of hands to carry the items I need?

I might definitely need a couple of additional pairs of hands as well - but I will definitely help shoplifters be less conspicuous and feel at home at that store by my being treated just like any one of them. The shoplifters go purse-less and so do I. Democratic indeed.

Moreover, I am totally uncomfortable leaving my purse anywhere.  Period.

I carry documents I would not feel happy to be left unattended. So, why the heck should I suffer at a place I have been a great customer to? 

All that the store management needs to do to is take harsher measures against trouble-makers. Installing video-cameras or employing guards or whatever they find suitable to solve their issues with shoplifting. But they should not bother me. I am a good citizen; I am a law-abiding citizen. The store management might not know that – but what they surely know is that I am an excellent and loyal customer of theirs. That should be essential for them. They should try to find a way to make me and all girls like me happy. Instead, they are taking our purses away.

So, I obviously get punished now for being a good and loyal customer. I feel I have been brought down to the level of shoplifters by being treated as potentially one of them. That makes me feel hurt. And you consider that a fair treatment, Springs Liquor Outlet?

I do not think so. Therefore, my husband and I walked out of your store and we would not go back.

Equality is a great thing but it is not wise from a business point of view to treat shoplifters and frequent customers the same way. It is not fair to even treat a person who would spend 30 dollars a month the same way as you would treat the one spending 300+. Exact figures do not matter; you get the point.

You should pamper any good customers you can have in those hard times, and make them feel welcome and important as it is them that make your business going.  Not you yourself. So, shame on you and your stupid policy. It is senseless and discriminating.

Good luck with it.

We are gladly taking our money to your competitor. You obviously do not care about that at this point - but if more people decide to do that, you might, in the long run.

The guys at the competitor liquor store we shopped at last night, after the stupid policy made us leave yours, were more than happy to have us. They even offered us discount policy you have never had.  Your liquor store was a good one, I agree, but it is not the only good one. You think too high of yourselves, which is a wrong business attitude – otherwise you would not have afforded treating your customers the way you did.

Shoplifting is YOUR OWN PROBLEM, not mine. I do not want to even know about it. I am not your partner – I am your customer. Your problem should be invisible for me. I should not even know it exists. You should be the ones to find a way to fight it efficiently.

I should feel happy and welcome while spending time and money at your store.

Moreover, I should feel SAFE in your store.  Just like in any other store. So, if you are powerless to solve the shoplifting issue – then, can I myself be pickpocketed while I am in your store? The conclusion was that customers, especially female ones, should carry all their necessary belongings in their hands or in the cart. So, in case their skirts/pants have no pockets, they should leave their wallets, cell phones, car keys and other personal items in the cart - while opening fridges and taking out, say, boxes of beer USING THEIR TWO HANDS? Do you consider their belongings safe then? Really?

So, maybe no shirt-and-pocketless-skirt outfits when you need to buy some wine or beer for your parties from that store, ladies.

Have you come to the idea that your valued shoplifters can meanwhile take away some of the personal belongings that are resting peacefully in ladies' carts? No? You have not come that far with your logical thinking how to preserve your precious beverages from getting stolen?

Surely the store will take no responsibility for personal items getting stolen while people shop inside the store. Am I any wrong here? It would have nothing to do with you, I am sure. It will be my very personal problem to keep my personal stuff preserved from the same shoplifters you are keeping from.

 So, you should maybe impose a CARGO PANTS POLICY as well, alongside with your stupid no-purse policy - so you can at least guarantee that women will have tons of pockets to carry personal items while you are happily resting around. But maybe we can always smuggle a small bottle of Remy Martin “to go” in some pockets? Maybe shop in bathing suits - wouldn't that be a great idea?

It is your job to open your eyes and make everything work smoothly in your own stores. You better do it.

People that started boycotting your stores might be in numbers that still do not worry you too much yet - but you have already started losing good customers that felt discriminated by your store. Our family is just another one that joined the boycotters.

Sooner or later, you will start regretting these people left you.  You cannot afford NOT CARING about that issue for too long.

No business is that great as to afford to easily lose customers. Maybe you are the first one?

Here are a couple of articles concerning that issue: