Monday, 17 August 2009

Shoplifters have consumer choice, too

TJ Morris is a sort of domestic Aldi or Lidl, and like those stores no doubt saves operating costs by having only a skeletal staff presence in its stores. As a result, shoplifting levels are high. Whilst Aldi or Lidl no doubt accept this trade-off, Tom Morris doesn't. So he's posting photographs of people he describes as 'shoplifters' on his website with a £500 reward on offer if they are identified and successfully prosecuted. No doubt he's pretty certain that they are, and that they won't sue him under Human Rights laws.

Many years ago I made the decision never to enter any premises that had bouncers on the door; there can be no clearer indicator that it's not my sort of place. So young people's clubs and many of the rougher pubs or bars that attract violence are off my radar. My social experiences have been immeasurably improved over the years as a result.

Similarly, I don't shoplift, and never have done, but Mr Morris' shops are now no-go zones for me, should one open in South London at any time. Any retailer who behaves as Mr Morris does is clearly not my kind of retailer. Anyone who imagines he has a right to publish his customers' photographs under any circumstances is to be avoided.

I have an old-fashioned view of the behaviour that should be exhibited by shopkeepers and licenced victuallers towards their customers, and bouncers and web photographs ain't it.

Shoplifters and thugs can make their own choices, of course. As can I. And though I wouldn't want to stop Tom Morris from his activity, any more than I'd want to ban bouncers, in the end honest consumers will make their own choices, too. That's freedom.

1 comment:

JuliaM said...

"Many years ago I made the decision never to enter any premises that had bouncers on the door..."

Can't remember who it was who said that the quality of service received at an establishment was inversely proportional to the number of 'please do not assault the staff' signs displayed around the place, but that was no less true...

TfL has wheeled out a new one on the Tube, exhorting passengers not to lamp the staff because 'they keep London running' which seems like a thinly-veiled threat to me.