Shoe shop Office bans practice of only letting customers try on one at a time as cost of living crisis bites

31 May 2023, 14:45

Office has banned its stores from only letting customers try on one at a time
Office has banned its stores from only letting customers try on one at a time. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Emma Soteriou

Office has banned the practice of only allowing customers to try on one shoe at a time after facing a backlash online.

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Shoppers are facing extra security measures when buying food and clothing as stores try to stop an increase in thefts in a cost of living clampdown.

Desperate parents are understood to have even gone as far as to steal baby formula to keep their children fed and supermarkets have resorted to putting dummy jars of instant coffee on shelves to deter shoplifters.

Shoe stores are now the latest to introduce stricter rules across some of their stores.

An Office customer tweeted: "I tried shoes on in Office yesterday and they would only let me try on one shoe of each pair I was looking at, their policy now apparently - had similar feelings of bleakness."

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The shoe shop said it is not its policy but there are a "few stores that periodically follow this procedure by exception".

"This is not our policy, and we have instructed all stores to immediately cease this practice," Office told Sky.

"At Office/Offspring we aim to provide our customers with a great shopping experience, whether in-store or online. We listen to our customer feedback and regularly review and adapt our policies accordingly.

"It is customer feedback that helps us to improve."

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It comes after a Londoner shared a picture of her local Co-op selling jars of Kenco Smooth instant coffee and Nescafe Gold Blend.

The jars have been slapped with a label reading “This product is a dummy. Not for sale. Please ask a member of staff for help.”

The Kenco Smooth costs £10.50 for a 200g jar and the Nescafe Gold £9.35 for the same size.

The picture was posted online with the caption: “cost of living reaching new heights, my local co-op is now a grocery show room. also ft periodic tannoy announcements from mitie security that their cameras are watching you. bleak af.

"Lots of ppl obsessing over these prices.. I'd never pay a tenner for this either, but surely what's more alarming is the sudden need for this insane securitisation, a function of rising poverty."

As prices continue to soar, the government has started encouraging supermarkets to impose price caps on food staples.

Downing Street is understood to be drawing up proposals to advocate for charging the lowest possible amount for some basic products like bread and milk.

The opt-in scheme, modelled on a similar agreement in France, would allow supermarkets to select which items they would cap, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

But the move was ridiculed by opposition MPs on Sunday who compared the plans to pricing controls introduced in the 1970s.