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Giant_Landover_store_exterior-copy 2.jpeg Giant Food

DC-area Giant Food stores ban large bags due to theft

Certain locations prohibit backpacks and other large bags to deter theft, according to reports

Giant Food stores in Washington D.C. have begun prohibiting customers from bringing large bags into the store in an effort to deter shoplifting.

The stores are restricting the use of suitcases, duffel bags, and any other large bags — 14 inches by 14 inches by 6 inches — that close, a company spokesperson told Supermarket News. The ban does not include open reusable shopping bags.

“The retail theft we are experiencing across our market area is a problem that affects everyone,” the Giant Food spokesperson said. “It limits product availability, creates a less convenient shopping experience, and, most critically, puts our associates and customers in harm’s way.”

All Giant Food stores in Washington D.C. and other select locations in the area have put the bag restrictions in place, effective last week,  the spokesperson said.

Harris Teeter, the Kroger-owned chain that operates stores in the D.C. area, also began banning large bags in some stores earlier this year to help prevent shoplifting, according to local website DC News Now. The chain also began requiring customers to show their sales receipts at the exits. In addition, last year some Safeway stores in the area installed gates in its self-checkout areas at some stores to reduce theft. Customers must scan their sales receipts for the gates to open, according to reports.

Last year a Giant Food store in the market took the unusual step of removing some branded HBC products from its shelves to deter theft, among other measures.

Other retailers around the country have also adopted new measures to prevent shoplifting, including checking sales receipts and removing self-checkout lanes. Safeway recently removed self-checkout lanes from some stores in the San Francisco area, for example, and Walmart said it was removing self-checkout at two stores in Missouri and Ohio. Dollar General is removing self-checkout at 300 locations, in part to minimize theft at those locations.

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