Walgreens Redesigns Store With Most Items Locked Up

(VitalNews.org) – Big city dwellers have long been used to passing their money through the bullet-proof glass at corner stores and having to ask for items that are under lock and key.

But what happens in New York or San Francisco does not stay there. The era of high security for ordinary domestic products is now seeping out into small cities and rural towns across the country. While it is most visible in large cities, drug stores in small New England towns are now locking up razors, hair care products, and even food behind Plexi-glass. 

For a preview, Americans might look at what Walgreens has done in at least one Chicago store. Shoppers are now confined to browsing just two aisles, and they have to walk through theft detection devices to do it. 

According to a Fox News report, the Walgreens at 2 East Roosevelt Road in Chicago’s South Loop has moved most inventory into aisles that are blocked by staffed counters. In another move toward what many are calling the “new normal,” the store is nudging shoppers to select their products through touch-screen kiosks. 

Naturally, Walgreens is putting a positive spin on the changes. In a written statement, the company claims to be “testing a new experience”. Laden with terms such as “team members” and “enhance the experiences,” Walgreens’ statement said it’s only the “new look and feel” that has changed. That “feel” is about shopping digitally “for convenience,” the chain said.

It is far from certain whether human shoppers experience the new “feel” as convenient. The site Block Club Chicago says the Walgreens store has a sign inviting customers to “place your order and relax” while staff go and retrieve the requested items. The sign also reads “Let us do the shopping,” which appears to be another example of the store trying to massage what shoppers might find frustrating into a kind of concierge interaction. 

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