The subtle techniques stores use to stop us from stealing


Coles and Woolworths are considering giving self service checkouts new human voices, in a bid to reduce shop lifting.


Apparently hundreds of shoppers can’t resist the temptation to put expensive apples through the self-serve checkout as lower priced fruit. The theory goes we are less likely to steal if the checkouts are given more “human” qualities.


Bri Williams is a behavioural specialist at People Patterns, and the author of ‘The How of Habits’.


She says people feel like their theft is a victim-less crime if they don’t have to make eye contact with a human cashier.  Stores combat the urge of customers to do the wrong thing by placing security at the front and center of the store, according to Bri.


To find out more subtle features used by retailers, listen to Bri’s chat with John & Garry via the player above.