Aldi customer, name and address withheld:

After an unpleasant experience at Aldi, Lake, Isle of Wight, for those of us who aren’t aware, Aldi introduced an in-store policy around August 2023 to conduct bag searches at the checkout in some of their stores, Lake clearly being one of them.

Therefore, in front of a long queue of people at the checkout, the cashier told me he needed to look in my shopping bag placed on the hook on the trolley.

Being oblivious to this policy I was not aware the cashier should first have asked for my consent, which he did not, nor that I could refuse the check.

Being a vulnerable and honest customer, I found the whole experience intrusive, humiliating and I now know it was not carried out correctly. Needless to say he found nothing.

Having now conducted some research online, this policy has certainly created controversy not only from customers who believe they are being treated as potential thieves, but also from Aldi workers who have been told to implement this.

Aldi have stated it will be conducted by security guards but clearly that’s not the case.

I have written to the CEO of Aldi, Giles Hurley, to express my concern that cashiers are conducting this policy.

Unsurprisingly I received a reply from Emma, part of the Customer Experience Team, who assured me Mr Hurley had reviewed my email and asked her to respond on his behalf, yeah really!

Emma wrote: “I can confirm we have introduced an in-store policy to conduct checks on all shopping bags or boxes” and “Bag checks are only carried out with the consent of our customers; all customers have the right to refuse the check”.

Emma does not say what happens upon refusal; however, publications suggest if refused the cashier will abort the sale, which is another difficult practice for them.

If shoplifting is a serious issue within an Aldi store, then it should not be the responsibility of cashiers at the checkout to challenge a customer, as this opens the door for potential abuse and jeopardises a cashier’s own safety, even more so with the screens now removed.

There may be many reasons why shoplifting occurs in the current economic climate but Aldi, please remember, not ALL your customers are thieves.

Angry customers aren’t good for business, and I for one, will not be shopping at Aldi, Lake, again.

One last piece of advice - get a receipt wherever you shop.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “In line with other retailers, bag checks are being carried out in stores by our colleagues where needed. We apologise to this customer for her experience and have taken her feedback on board.”