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Posters promoting theft from Loblaws circulate online


Pictures of a poster encouraging people to steal from Loblaw Companies Limited next month on a specific date have been circulating online.

Despite stringent security measures put in place to prevent thefts, including security at many of their store entrances and Plexiglass barriers at most exits, posters circulating online are encouraging people to steal from the company on May 12.

Plexiglass barriers at the exit of a Superstore are pictured. (Hafsa Arif/CTV Atlantic)

The poster was originally spotted in Ontario and have now made their way to Atlantic Canada.

“It doesn’t really make sense to me. I don’t understand what the motive is behind that. Why would anyone want to steal?” said Othman Ali, a regular shopper at Superstore.

A poster encouraging people to steal from Loblaws. (Hafsa Arif/CTV Atlantic)In the last month, online groups have promoted a boycott of the Loblaws stores during the month of May, including the Superstore locations in the Maritimes; however, they have condemned the calls for theft.

“I would say that it’s a step too far to advocate for theft and stealing. I can certainly sympathize feeling that groceries are too expensive. I think everyone feels that right now,” said Ryan Stanley, a community member in Halifax.

Marketing analyst Ed McHugh said he is not surprised by these calls.

“Pre-internet this would have a really hard time getting momentum,” he said. “The internet attracts people and people of similar minds find each other.”

CTV News reached out to Loblaws for a reaction to the circulating poster, but they did not respond to questions specific to the online threats. Instead in a statement they said, “The last few years have been tough for Canadians and we continue to do what we can to combat inflation at our stores. We’re going to keep working hard to deliver on our commitment to value and to rebuild the trust grocers have enjoyed more than 100-years.”

An Atlantic Superstore is pictured. (CTV Atlantic)Halifax Regional Police told CTV News they have not heard anything from Loblaws about concerns related to the posters and were not aware of pictures of it circulating online.

McHugh said these extra security measures to prevent thefts will only result in costs getting passed down to shoppers, which would make groceries even more expensive.

“You’ll see a gradual price increase because measures like this,” he said. “You won’t see a quick, knee-jerk kind of one because that would (raise) the ire of people up higher, but it will reflect in high prices long-term, absolutely.”

Some retailers like Costco already have policies requiring shoppers to show their receipts before exiting the store and people continue to shop there. McHugh said people tend to have issues with retailers introducing new policies but they have no choice but accept these changes.

“When retailers start to put new procedures people have a problem with it, but I think we’ve got to get used to it,” he said. “It’s got to be part of shopping. If people aren’t happy with it, they could switch retailers.”

He said companies have free enterprise, and if they believe adding security will help prevent thefts, they can implement any procedure within the law.

Some people understand the anger towards high costs and say they also know people who steal groceries regularly.

“I’ve have had people discuss with me that pennies are tight right now so they have to take some stuff and I have also seen people steal things,” said shopper Maclean Rivers.

His friend, Patrick McKay said this reflects the anger people have with large grocers.

“It just seems like the reflection of a broader popular outrage towards what appears to be super high grocery prices and corporate greed and while I personally would never steal, I can understand the sentiment,” he said. Top Stories

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