Ross customer calls out store's new 10-second waiting period

Chad Robertson Media/ShutterStock @muvadearest44/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Face scan?’: Ross customer calls out store’s new 10-second waiting period at front door

'There is nothing I need from Ross that bad.'

 

Braden Bjella

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Posted on Apr 20, 2024   Updated on Apr 24, 2024, 11:01 am CDT

Stores have long claimed that shoplifting—specifically, organized retail crime—is on the rise across the country.

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While there is little evidence to support this claim, and a figure from the National Retail Federation admitted to the Daily Dot that such claims are based on retailer perception rather than data, stores across the country have implemented increased security measures to combat this perceived threat.

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For example, one Target shopper noted that the items she needed were locked behind glass, causing her to wait for an employee to come and unlock them. A Walmart shopper stated that shopping for her items in the store now made her go through three different transactions in order to get what she needed.

Now, a user on TikTok has sparked discussion after showcasing a security measure she says she encountered at a Ross Dress for Less location.

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In a video with over 868,000 views as of Saturday morning, TikTok user @muvadearest44 says that the location made her stand in direct view of the security camera for 10 seconds before being allowed to shop.

“They literally force u to wait for 10 seconds before entering the store (not covid related), and each security employee gives a different reason,” the TikToker writes in the caption of the video. “Im sure it has something to do with the use of facial recognition technology in the context of preventing shoplifting, but #transparency would be cool.”

In the comments section, users offered potential reasons why the store would implement such a change.

“This is new from last year, it’s so the camera can get a good look at your face before you come in to shop in case you steal,” said a user. “I used to work at Ross.”

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“We have them at my old location now. We used to do it because Covid limited numbers. Now it’s so they can build that case,” added another.

@muvadearest44 Does your @Ross Dress for Less do this? The ones in south Florida dont require this. They literally force u to wait for 10 seconds before entering the store (not covid related), and each security employee gives a different reason. Im sure it has something to do with the use of facial recognition technology in the context of preventing shoplifting, but #transparency would be cool. #EthicalAI ♬ Get It Sexyy – Sexyy Red

Other commenters simply said that encountering such a security mechanism would cause them to reconsider shopping at the store.

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“There is nothing I need from Ross that bad,” declared a commenter.

“They started doing this [and] honestly I just stopped going to Ross,” detailed a second. “it would make sense if they were mad packed but they weren’t and I don’t need it.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Ross via email and @muvadearest44 via TikTok direct message.

Update 11:00am CT April 24: In a TikTok DM exchange with the Daily Dot, the TikToker shared further thoughts on the security measure and commenters’ reaction to it.

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“While reviewing the comments, I didn’t find any that directly answered my question. However, I did come across users from former Ross employees sharing their experiences of encountering dangerous situations with customers while working at the retail store,” she wrote. “So, before forming a truly informed opinion, I’d need more information.”

“It’s crucial to understand if this measure makes Ross employees feel safer and its effectiveness in reducing theft or enhancing staff safety. It’s also important to clarify why there’s inconsistency in responses from loss prevention specialists about the security measure,” she continued. “I’m curious about what instructions are being given to employees regarding this. While I noticed the sign, a specific employee (whom I won’t name) gave me conflicting information. As someone pursuing a PhD in public health, I’m well-versed in the concept of ‘metering,’ yet the employee mentioned otherwise. I’m seeking clarity on the actual policy in place. What’s the truth?”

“Some commenters also mentioned that the loss prevention specialists instructed them to stand in the designated spot for the camera to capture them clearly,” she noted. “So, I’m not overreacting, and this isn’t about ‘customer perception’ but rather about LACK of transparency.”

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She also referenced the statements made by an individual from the National Retail Federation.

“I would like the National Retail Federation to acknowledge that this ‘observation’ was not just my ‘perception,’ but were actually the words spoken by a store employee,” she explained.

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*First Published: Apr 20, 2024, 9:00 am CDT
 
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