Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Retail & Industry
Published on August 22, 2023
Church & Market Safeway Installs Security Gates at Self-Checkout Kiosks to Thwart Shoplifting [Updated]Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

In its latest attempt at thwarting would-be shoplifters, the Castro Safeway at Church and Market streets has installed a security gate at the self-checkout kiosks.

Safeway customers are now required to scan a receipt barcode in order to exit the self-checkout area.

On a recent visit by a Hoodline reporter, customers were observed seamlessly exiting the self-checkout area after completing their purchases.

Safeway customer exits the self-checkout area by tapping their receipt. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


Although, as Hoodline commenters have mentioned, things can go awry when there's an influx of customers, the gate malfunctions, or if you didn't make a purchase and only need to exit the store. 

This isn't the first Safeway location in the city that has seen these gates installed. Safeway previously installed self-checkout security gates in its Western Addition and Outer Mission stores.

The move comes after a handful of changes inside the store in recent years including the addition of check-out barriers, closing at 9 p.m., removal of the deli self-checkout stands, and moving the shopping carts inside.

A Wells Fargo branch inside the Church and Market Safeway also closed last year.

Hoodline reached out to Safeway for comment but did not immediately receive a response. 

Update 11:30 a.m.: Safeway spokesperson Wendy Gutshall responded to Hoodline with the same statement provided to the San Francisco Chronicle below.

At this time it's unclear if Safeway is gauging the future of self-checkout at its stores based on the success of the security gates at cutting down the amount of shoplifting.

Gutshall did not respond to Hoodline's questions about judging the success of the security gate or if the gates at other stores have been successful at reducing shoplifting.

Self-checkout area at the Church and Market Safeway store. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


In response to the installation of the gates at the Western Addition Safeway spokesperson Wendy Gutshall told the SF Chronicle, "Recent changes were made at select Safeway stores in the Bay Area to maintain a safe and welcoming shopping experience for our customers and associates given the amount of theft."

"Those updates include operational changes to the front end of the store to deter shoplifting," added Gutshall. "Like other local businesses, we are working on ways to curtail escalating theft so we can ensure the well-being of our employees and foster a welcoming environment for our customers. These long-planned security improvements were implemented with those goals in mind."