After a spate of incidents across UK stores Waitrose is to introduce a device to scan shoppers for piercings on entering to help keep out ‘undesirable elements’.
Waitrose initially responded to cut-price competition by launching its own budget range, Waitrose Essentials. As a further tactical measure it promised to match cheaper rival Tesco on 1000 of its branded products. But while these actions resulted in customer numbers rising, they also caught the attention of a wider cross section of society.
“I think lower prices have been attracting the wrong kind of shoppers into our stores.” said Managing Director Mark Price.
“Recently we’ve seen people from council estates, we’ve even had a few members of the unemployed wander in. I’m convinced it’s the swathes of green everywhere that make the great unwashed believe they’re in Asda,” he concluded.
“Luckily aside from dressing like garage mechanics, in sports gear or like Victoria Beckham, piercings is one way of identifying them.”
An audible tone and flashing light will alert staff who will politely ask pierced visitors to leave the store. Should they refuse or, in the worst case scenario become aggravated, managers have the go ahead to lock themselves in the staff toilet and call security “until the threat is neutralised”.
To help cement their middle class credentials Waitrose is also believed to be considering a number of further measures such as a more advanced scanner system that will screen shoppers’ skin for hidden tattoos. Price also explained that Waitrose would be establishing priority parking spaces for customers driving 4x4s.