The crackdown on supermarket theft is well and truly on as Coles shoppers find themselves "locked in" by newly installed security gates at checkouts after Woolworths recently adopted the same strategy.
Coles has confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the rollout of security gates has already begun and several stores scattered around the country already have the new feature.
A shopper at Green Hills Shopping Centre in the NSW Hunter Valley was "horrified" to find the safety gates at her local store and described her experience online.
"I couldn't get out of the self-serve checkout once I had finished my shopping until they [staff] looked at my receipt and pressed a button."
"It's not enough that they are price gouging us and ripping us off, they now lock you in."
Yahoo News Australia understands there will be an increase in the number of stores that will have security gates at checkouts.
Coles adopts new technology to combat rising rates of theft
The security gates are the latest in-store change as increasing rates of shoplifting prompt supermarkets to implement new anti-theft strategies. This week Coles announced staff will begin to wear body cams in select stores as another measure to reduce the behaviour.
"We know that retail crime is on the increase across all retailers, and we have a range of security measures in place to reduce theft from our stores," a Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News.
The supermarket said the "new smart gate technology" will "automatically" open as customers make payment, a contrast to the Green Hills shoppers' claims.
Other new security features implemented by Coles include overhead cameras which will follow shoppers' movements around the store and a lock mechanism on shopping trolleys which prevents customers from taking them away from the supermarket.
Last month Coles revealed it made $1.1 billion profit in the last financial year intensifying public disdain as grocery affordability becomes one of Aussies' biggest money worries during the cost-of-living crisis — with these factors believed to be attributing to the rise in supermarket theft.
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