oppn parties Hidden Cameras: No Way to Treat Customers

News Snippets

  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
  • Sarvana Bhawan founder P Rajagopal, serving a life term for murder, dies in a Chennai hospital
  • SC allows time till July 31 to the Ayodhya mediation panel
  • IT department attaches "benami" plot worth Rs 400cr in Noida. The plot allegedly belongs to BSP leader [email protected]@@s brother and his wife
  • Dawood [email protected]@@s nephew, Md. Rizwan Iqbal, was arrested from Mumbai airport as he was waiting to board a flight to Dubai
  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
oppn parties
Hidden Cameras: No Way to Treat Customers

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
With minister Smriti Irani getting caught on a CCTV camera in the trail room of the high profile Fabindia store in Goa, the worst kept secret of high profile garment stores has come out. For some time now, there were whispers that almost all big garment stores had installed CCTV cameras inside trial rooms. This was necessitated by what the stores termed as novel ways of shoplifting that involved visits to the trial rooms.

All stores now have the Electronic Article Surveillance System (EAS) in place. Despite having the latest technology and a multi-layered detection process, if the stores still feel the need of invading the privacy of customers and recording them in their most unguarded moments, then there is something seriously wrong.

The facts are all loaded against the customer pinching a product. The products are barcoded and protected by a magnetic tags (to be detected at the exit gate vertical towers). These magnetic tags can be of simple magnetic field or of acousto-magnetic, radio frequency or microwave types. Although these tags can be rendered useless by a simple covering with an aluminum foil bag or sticking a coin or metal piece on the magnetic field, such things can only be done by a hardened shoplifter. For this too, stores have a system of allowing only a few pieces inside the trial room and the lady guard keeps a hawks eye on shoppers. So where is the need for the cameras?

Excess of anything is bad but excess of security is choking. For women, shopping is a pastime full of pleasure. If they have to be on their guard for voyeurs, the pleasure will vanish. The importance of the trial room cannot be discounted as more than the size, it is the satisfaction of seeing how the dress looks on her that sends the person rushing to that room. If it is not safe, then will women shop at brick and mortar stores anymore? Similar products are available at lower prices online. There is an easy “no questions asked” return policy too. Wouldn’t shoppers veer to buying online and trying the products in the safety of their homes? They can always return them if they are not satisfied.

Brick and mortar stores have to think of other ways to prevent shoplifting. CCTV cameras in trial rooms or washrooms are a big no-no. If they are not able to get their act together soon, they will lose a substantial chunk of their customers from metros and Tier II towns at least, to online shopping.