Walgreens at 10601 E Alameda Ave, Aurora, CO - Offensive
Not Allowed to Shop - Complaint
AURORA, COLORADO -- I am a mid 40s, educated, tax paying, voting, credit card carrying consumer. On this Sunday afternoon I walked into the Walgreens at Havana and Alameda to look for hair color, hot and tired after a day of errands and shopping. I had a backpack fully on - both shoulders, not just slung over one (and as such, impossible to unzip or access without taking it off completely), a shopping bag from another store in one hand, and a jug of iced tea in the other hand.
While looking for the hair color stock, I was stopped in the aisle by an employee informing me I'd need to leave my bags at the counter before I could shop anymore - then further - that my backpack too would need to be left with the staff. I stated I had a laptop in my backpack and wasn't prepared to simply leave it at a front desk. I was informed that they would be there, but that I should have been stopped at entry rather than allowed to come back so far. I was being addressed with a tone one might expect to hear at age 7 - as if I needed watching over and direction.
She continued, making it clear that I would not be allowed to shop if I didn't agree to leave my merchandise and backpack with her. It now being abundantly clear that I was for whatever reason under suspicion for possibly intending to steal from them, I told her I didn't need to shop there that bad - that I'm not looking to steal anything, and turned to leave - however, on walking back out of the aisle, I noticed a number of other shoppers, many with backpacks, who'd apparently not been singled out and forced to entrust a Walgreens employee with hundreds of dollars in computer, software (in the backpack), and paid and bagged merchandise from other stores as well, if they cared to spend a few bucks there. I was the lucky one receiving that special attention.
Only one other time in my life have I been blocked from shopping unless I agreed to leave my possessions with a store employee, and in that case it did actually seem to be a policy applied to everyone entering, not just me - however, even then, I was offended enough at the presumption being made of customers, that I not only left and spent my money at a shop down the street (which didn't require customers hand over possessions to spend money with them) but have not returned to any of that chains stores in the years since - highly recommending against it to others should the company come up in conversation.
Walgreens already has the competition of other stores that sell more and for less all around them. This particular store has a Target and Costco (which I am a member of - and neither of which has ever requested bags and or backpack be handed over to shop with them) about a mile down Havana. While I've noticed there are some retail stores now taking an assumptive approach toward customers as potential shoplifters on entry, I am of the opinion that all customers, no matter what their age, appearance, or demeanor, until they prove otherwise, deserve to be treated with respect by the companies profiting for their interest and time - If I don't feel afforded such by any company I attempt to do business with, I simply don't return - and in the case of Walgreens, and being embarrasssingly singled out and so completely and without evidence or reason for suspicion, barred, I not only will not be returning to this store or any in the chain, but am now posting the events and experience as well. Embarrassing, offensive, and stressful - all for thinking I'd see if Walgreens might be a good place to purchase hair color from.