helping you shop smarter

Protecting Yourself at the Supermarket

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I hate to say it, but amid all the good that is happening in the world, it can still be a dangerous place when you let your guard down in the wrong areas. The supermarket – as safe of a place as it is to buy food – is only as safe as customers inside keep it. There could be people looking to make you a victim, and since it happens too often, here are some essential tips for protecting yourself at the supermarket.

IF YOU ARE A WOMAN, WATCH YOUR PURSE LIKE A HAWK

One moment, you could be looking at apples. The next moment, you could be panicking over what happened to your purse. This clip from Inside Edition shows how quickly it can happen. Don’t make yourself a victim – keep an eye on that purse, or leave it in your car.

WHEN USING THE PIN PAD AT CHECKOUT, GUARD YOUR PIN NUMBER

Distraction theft is a real thing. The person ahead of you at the checkout and the person behind you in line could be teaming up to score your PIN number and then grab your card when distracting you. It’s easy, fast, and by the time you realize it, it may already be too late to stop them.

IF USING A STORE ATM, ENSURE THERE IS NO CARD SKIMMER ON THE MACHINE

Some creative thieves will put a device over an ATM card slot that copies your card’s data for future use. Ensure there is nothing on top of the card entry slot on the machine. If there is, alert staff or the phone number on the ATM immediately.

DON’T PARK DOWNHILL FROM THE STORE

It’s a great way to get your car dinged by a runaway cart. Also, avoid parking next to anything that may not seem like it’s 100% sturdy, such as a pedestrian crossing sign. These signs get hit by a shocking amount of cars, and your vehicle could become collateral damage even if it isn’t hit by another car itself.

LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE WALKING ACROSS ANY SECTION OF THE PARKING LOT

I’ve established multiple times in this blog that people do not pay attention to things inside the store and subsist in some form of mindless existence. Protecting yourself at the supermarket applies to the parking lot too – don’t assume all drivers see you if you’re walking.

DO NOT VISIT THE STORE ON WINDY DAYS AND PARK NEXT TO AN ENCLOSED CART CORRAL

Winds can – and have – lifted cart corrals out of the ground and into totally new areas. Some stores have employees with the foresight to anchor them down with skids of soil in summer before a storm hits. Many others do not.

KEEP YOUNG CHILDREN UNDER YOUR WATCHFUL EYE

Some people believe it’s okay to let their young children roam the store unattended. It has never happened when I’m on duty, but it has happened before where a child disappears. Many stores have adopted what is called Code Adam, which is a program to help stop any attempted kidnappings in large retail locations. However, that’s no guarantee of safety. Keep your children with you at all times.

WATCH WHERE YOU’RE WALKING

If you trip on an outside curb that is brightly painted, or on the corner of a caution-marked watermelon bin skid in the produce area, or you’re walking and texting and don’t see that metal support column, there’s nothing you’re entitled to.

DO NOT LEAVE BIG-TICKET ITEMS SITTING IN YOUR CAR IN VIEW OF OTHER PEOPLE

Thanks to Google, anyone can tell how much time the average person spends in a retail location. Since it barely takes time for experienced theives to break into any car, hide any valuables you may have in your trunk or in your glove compartment. Don’t let yourself be a target.

IN TIMES OF DISEASE PANDEMIC, WEAR A MASK AND SANITIZE YOUR HANDS

You’re only as safe as you keep other people, and as safe as other people keep you. The virus truly is everywhere, so in pandemic times, protecting yourself at the supermarket also means wearing a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, and sanitize your hands before entering the store.

About the Grocery Store Insider

The Grocery Store Insider has worked in grocery retail for close to 20 years, and has worked in multiple areas of the store including produce, fresh meats, deli, produce, dry grocery, frozen foods, dairy, and checkouts. The Grocery Store Insider also has a College diploma in Business Administration-Marketing.