loblaws ontario

Ontario shoppers up in arms over new barriers at exits of Loblaws-owned stores

Shortly after Loblaws started installing security gates and receipt scanners at some of its locations, the supermarket giant's security practices are yet again being questioned by shoppers.

A customer at a Zehrs store in Guelph — a chain owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd., along with No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, and others — took to social media this past weekend to share their concern about what appeared to be new barriers near the exit.

"Loblaws going even further with security. Installed plexiglass barriers at local Zehrs in Guelph," the shopper wrote along with photos of the upgrades.

"Guess they got tired of customers committing the heinous crime of purchasing a Starbucks inside and slipping through the steel barriers. Wild to see this in Guelph of all places, not exactly a crime ridden city."

Loblaws going even further with security. Installed plexiglass barriers at local Zehrs in Guelph
byu/TheMavrack inontario

Depicted are sheets of plexiglass against and above existing chrome customer guideways dividing the entry/exit with the rest of the store, which the individual says had recently popped up since their last visit.

"They're low key gearing up for the inevitable food riots when their greed starts killing us," one person joked on the post.

"Raise prices to dramatically high levels. People turn to shoplifting to feed their families. Who could have predicted this outcome!?" another quipped.

Still, others questioned if the additions could constitute a safety hazard.

While hundreds chimed in to comment on the subject — many of them hating on Loblaws, its prices and its ostensibly expensive new anti-theft measures in a time of sky-high grocery inflation — others noted that they've encountered similar rails and gates at other grocers, too.

"It's not even just Loblaws owned stores, unfortunately," one person wrote.

"One of the Walmart stores near me has installed metal barriers along the entire exit/entrance pathway and people have been livid about it. You pretty much cannot leave after shopping without going through a gate attended by a greeter."

"I've stopped going to Walmart and Loblaws because of this," another added. "It makes you feel like a criminal just for looking around. And don't even get me started on the credit card people stopping you right at the end of the only exit of the store."

byu/TheMavrack from discussion

Regarding the addition of plexiglass, a spokesperson for Loblaw told blogTO that the blockades serve multiple purposes—including to deter rising theft—and have actually been around for some time, though they're being rolled out at progressively more locations.

"We've had safety barriers like this installed for a number of years in banners across Canada," they said in a brief comment. "They keep customers safe and protect against theft. We're expanding them to more stores to keep people safe."

Lead photo by


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