Coles Lutwyche Among First Stores to Get ‘Smart Gate’ at Self-Service Checkouts

Coles has announced it will soon activate new “smart gate” anti-theft technology at select locations, including its Lutwyche store, as part of an effort to prevent theft at self-service checkouts.

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The gates, which work through artificial intelligence, will lock automatically if a customer attempts to exit the store after failing to scan and pay for items at the self-checkout stations. A Coles spokesperson said the measure became necessary due to “a small number of customers” unfortunately not doing the right thing.

The smart gates will supplement existing security systems like CCTV, electronic article surveillance tags, security personnel, and even trolley locking mechanisms already in place at some stores. Customers without items or who cannot find what they are looking for will still be permitted to exit by staff.

Coles Lutwyche (Photo credit: Si Vi/Google Maps) 

Similar anti-theft gates utilising the “skip scan” technology will also be introduced at select Coles stores in Brisbane, such as Westfield Mount Gravatt and New Farm in coming weeks.

Public reaction to the news has been mixed. In a Reddit thread, some users expressed concerns that honest shoppers could get locked in by mistake if there are glitches with the system. Others questioned whether the smart gate rollout reflects broader issues around self-checkout theft that some shoppers feel compelled to commit.

Photo credit: Si Vi/Google Maps

“I think supermarkets should take a look at their insurance policy. Sounds like it also breaks laws in case of fire,” one Reddit user commented.

“It would be safe to assume these gates deactivate when a fire alarm is activated,” another user argued.

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Coles maintains the technology will only target intentional thieves and improve the shopping experience for honest customers. But critics argue the gates could backfire, further eroding consumer trust and satisfaction.

Published 4-December-2023