loblaws ontario

Ontario consumers livid as huge barriers pop up at exits of more Loblaws-owned stores

Along with the endless complaints that people have lately about Loblaws' prices, profits and practices in general, shoppers are increasingly concerned about what they are seeing as excessive security measures rolling out across the corporation's stores.

After the addition of security guards, receipt scanners and even gates at some locations, the brand has appeared to take the latter measure to new (literal) heights in recent weeks, beefing up physical barriers around stores' exit points.

Recent visitors have been baffled by what they've called "hockey rink high" plexiglass in their local Loblaws, as well as other banners owned by the supermarket giant, such as Zehrs, in cities like Toronto and Guelph.

One person on social media likened the new installations to "a prison," while multiple others have wondered about whether they pose a safety risk and are in line with fire code, as they may make exiting in emergency situations more difficult.

A spokesperson for Loblaw Companies Ltd. told blogTO earlier this month that the barriers have been in locations across Canada for "a number of years," and that they are to protect against theft, but also to "keep customers safe."

"We're expanding them to more stores to keep people safe," they reiterated in response to backlash from those encountering the new walls for the first time.

While many online are hating on Loblaws for the move, among other things, others have noted that they've seen similar anti-theft tactics and structures in some Walmarts and other chains.

Photos by

Becky Robertson

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