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Woolies criticised for locking away pregnancy tests

Melbourne woman Ellie Blackwood‎ posted this photo of pregnancy tests at her local Woolworths supermarket.
Melbourne woman Ellie Blackwood‎ posted this photo of pregnancy tests at her local Woolworths supermarket. News Corp Australia

A MELBOURNE woman has complained to Woolworths after spotting several pregnancy tests in plastic security boxes at her local supermarket.

"Hi Woolworths," Ellie Blackwood, from Carlton, wrote on the Woolworths Facebook page on Monday.

"I was wondering why your pregnancy tests are stored in electronic cases that require women and girls to seek permission before they can purchase?" she wrote.

"It certainly can't be because they are deemed a luxury or expensive item, because the more costly Nicobate product [smoking patches] next to the test is sitting unsecured on the shelf.

The pregnancy tests in the photo ranged from $9-$23, while the Nicobate patches cost $35.

Melbourne woman Ellie Blackwood‎ posted this photo of pregnancy tests at her local Woolworths supermarket.
Melbourne woman Ellie Blackwood‎ posted this photo of pregnancy tests at her local Woolworths supermarket. Facebook

Her post received hundreds of comments from social media users suggesting reasons why the tests required a security case.

"I worked at a supermarket that had a high theft rate for pregnancy testers, so they removed them from the shelf and put them behind the front counter instead. When stores notice that one particular product is being targeted, management is told to implement measures to prevent/deter people from stealing to correct the issue," one commenter wrote.

Another wrote: "While the product might be stored that way because of the risk it might be stolen, it places barrier between women, and girls, who may want to obtain a pregnancy test but be anxious about doing so. While we might like to think there isn't judgment, the perception of its possibility is often enough to discourage young women."

Ms Blackwood said most women would be embarrassed at having to ask a Woolworths staff member to remove the plastic box, and that could deter them from taking a pregnancy test.

"They must be being stolen because women feel embarrassed about buying them," she wrote.

"Can you now imagine someone too ashamed to purchase a pregnancy test at the checkout among their other groceries, going to the customer service desk and asking 'Steve the store manager' to help the unlock this electronic box?"

When asked why the pregnancy tests were stored in the secure plastic boxes, a Woolworths spokesman told news.com.au the supermarket has a "range of measures in place to prevent stock loss."

Topics:  editors picks shoplifting theft woolworths

News Corp Australia

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