Giant bans customers from carrying large bags in DC stores amid mass shoplifting

Giant is now banning customers from bringing large bags into their D.C. stores. The Maryland-based grocer said its new policy is aimed at cutting down mass shoplifting.

The policy, which started on May 23, bans bags bigger than 14 inches by 14 inches by 6 inches. Some shoppers WTOP spoke to were not thrilled with the new rule.

One shopper described the ban as “discriminatory,” adding that not everyone has a car or the means to use ride-hailing services, such as Uber.

“Some people use Metro to get from A to B,” the shopper said. “It’s a little unfair.”

Mark Douse, another shopper at the store in Cathedral Heights, said he understands why stores are banning the large bags, but he said he doesn’t really like the new policy.

“I need that big bag,” he said. “I don’t want to keep condensing with all these little plastic bags.”

In a statement the company wrote, “Giant Food initiated a new policy at select stores that are experiencing high shrink to mitigate the unprecedented levels of product theft that have become unsustainable for our business.”

 sign advertising giant bag ban
Maryland-based grocer, Giant is now banning customers from bringing large bags into their D.C. stores. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

The company added that the thefts the stores have been experiencing puts customers and staff in harm’s way.

“We need to be able to run our stores safely and profitably, and we take these responsibilities seriously. The tactics we deploy are only one of the solutions to our problem,” the Giant statement said.

The new rule also prohibits customers bringing in suitcases and duffel bags.

“If I’m traveling, I have my bag with me, and it’s bigger, do I fall into the same policy if I’m not going to shoplift?” another customer said. She added that although she thinks the ban could help, “There’s other policies they might want to put in place.”

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Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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