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One in five Australians are shoplifting from supermarkets, survey says


Almost one in five Australians steal from supermarkets by using dishonest behaviour at self-serve checkouts, according to a recent survey.

In new research nine per cent of shoppers admitted to not scanning items before leaving the supermarket, while another ten per cent deliberately lied about what they had scanned to get a cheaper price – for example, putting an avocado on the scales but saying it was an onion.

That is according to a nationally representative survey of 1010 respondents conducted by Finder.

One in five Australians have admitted to stealing at self-serve checkouts.
One in five Australians have admitted to stealing at self-serve checkouts. (James Alcock)

Extrapolating nationwide, it would mean 3.8 million Australians have stolen in the past year.

Finder’s Richard Whitten linked the thefts to the rising cost of living.

“Of course, most self-checkout machines can’t tell brown onions from portobello mushrooms,” he said.

“I suspect a lot of Australians don’t regard scanning items incorrectly on purpose to be the same level of theft as running out of a shop with a loaf of bread.”

Harris Farm in Leichhardt.
Ten per cent of Australians admit to claiming one form of produce is another at the checkout for a cheaper price. (Harris Farm)

The research also showed two per cent of Australians have dined and dashed in the past year. 

Six per cent said they had driven away without paying for petrol.

If you haven’t stolen anything in the past year, you are among 81 per cent of Australians.

Take a trip down memory lane and see how Woolworths supermarkets across Australia have changed over the 90 years since the first store was opened in the basement of Sydney's Imperial Arcade. The company now operates 872 stores and employed 111,000 people. 

Do you recognise yourself in any of these historic photographs? Do you have photographs you would like to share? Email us contact@nine.com.au

IN PICTURES: Woolworths delves into the archives as it celebrates 90 years in Australia



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