In exchange for payment, the shoplifting assistants will help customers avoid paying for their Ikea home furnishings by carrying the goods right out the store’s main entrance, the local Dagbladet newspaper reports.
Ikea hopes to address the problem by installing surveillance cameras at the store’s entrance and has sought permission from county authorities to do so.
In its application to install round-the-clock surveillance cameras, Ikea writes that the store has received “clear signals” that people are being paid to help customers take items out of the store without paying for them.
According to Per Olofsson, head of store security, one person has been arrested for helping Ikea customers shoplift, but he wasn’t able to say how much the person was paid to help steal the goods.
Store head Jane Franzén admitted to Dagbladet that Ikea’s wide-open main entrance did pose a challenge in the store’s battle against shoplifting.
“Unfortunately, this also makes it possible for some less scrupulous visitors to leave with goods that haven’t been paid for in one of our check-outs,” she said.
Despite the thefts, the Sundsvall Ikea has no plans to install barriers that would make it harder for customers to enter and exit the store because “most of our visitors have, despite everything, honest intentions”, the store wrote in its application.