When you walk into a Liquor Mart in Manitoba, you may soon be seeing increased security measures.
WATCH: Are customers concerned about increased hassle of new security measures at Liquor Marts?
In the wake of increased thefts, the organization will be implementing changes to some stores at different times:
- Bottle locks on some caps
- Lockable shelf cases
- Some products by request only
- Security gates
- Asking people to check their bags, purses and backpacks
- Requiring people to show their ID regardless of age
- Hanging security camera monitors
- Uniformed special duty police officers
- More security guards
Retail and marketing expert Fang Wan from the University of Manitoba says these measures will have a negative effect on the shopping experience.
“I cannot imagine. I think it will be a radical transformation of the shopping experience … in the negative direction,” she said.
“You have so much costs. It’s a psychological, behavioural and time cost. I can imagine how these kinds of cues can really prevent shoppers from having a good experience.”
People shopping at the Liquor Mart — some of whom witnessed of thefts taking place — told Global News it was time to make sweeping changes.
“I was coming out of Shoppers Drug Mart and two kids came running out of there with bottles,” shopper Susan Gill said.
“It’s discouraging, because it means prices rise, it means more inconvenience for us that do shop there and pay for the products. You have to pick up cards for certain products.”
Shoppers like Laurilyn Greig-Haines are disappointed it had to come to this point.
“Does it irritate me? Yes. But I’m more irritated by the people who have caused this problem than the measures that are being taken to mitigate it. We all pay for shoplifting,” she said.
“I don’t want to start having to submit an order and then picking it up later and picking it up later from a guy behind glass like the currency exchange. It’s just a sign of the times, it’s sad.”
WATCH: New liquor mart security features similar to those in other commercial stores
University of North Dakota marketing instructor Robert Warren said even though the Liquor Marts have a near monopoly on the market, the changes could mean people don’t browse as much.
“You might not buy as much, especially if you rely on people making purchases on impulse. Like ‘oh I see something on sale, I’ll try it.’ But it’s under lock and key and I don’t feel like dealing with it,” he said.
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, the crown corporation in charge of Liquor Marts would not give a dollar value or timeline for the implementation of new security measures.