A new wave of confusion and division has surfaced over Woolworths’ decision to keep cans of deodorant under lock and key.

Shelves of locked away deodorant were spotted recently by a customer and later shared online, where the act has since been hotly disputed.

The retail giant’s motivation behind the move was also contested, with some under the impression it was a method to stop people “sniffing” and others convinced it was aimed at reducing theft.

“Well done Woolworths. If locking deodorant up helps to save just one young person from sniffing it then it’s well worth it,” the woman who shared the photo wrote in a post.

While the photo was understood to have been taken inside a Woolies in the NSW Northern Rivers region, many commented to report they had seen the same in their local stores in other parts of the country.

Stores in Cairns, Mount Isa and Darwin were reportedly locking away deodorant cans, too.

To buy a can, customers were required to press a button and wait for a staff member to come and unlock the cabinet.

The move was rolled out in all Northern Territory stores and in some Queensland stores last year, with the supermarket at the time stating it was a necessary precaution to “reduce the abuse of these products”.

“At Woolworths, we want to play our part in reducing the abuse of these products in Queensland,” Woolworths Queensland state manager Danny Baldwin told news.com.au.

“With these new cabinets, we’re hoping to significantly reduce the opportunity for misuse while continuing to offer access to the products where our customers expect to find them [in the health and beauty aisle].”

While many shoppers thrust their full support behind the move, others were more sceptical.

“I think they’re more trying to stop them from stealing than sniffing it. I don’t think Woolies really cares. Just wants its money,” one person responded in a comment to the recent photo.

“You can get high off any number of industrial and cleaning products. What difference will it make locking up deodorant? They will probably sell less of it now because no one will bother waiting around for someone to open the cabinet,” another wrote.

Plenty of others felt the method was well worth it if it helped save lives.

“It’s called chroming and that is why supermarkets are introducing locking deodorants up. I think if it saves just one life, they have succeeded. Not sure why people would think it’s pointless or funny,” one person wrote.

While “chroming” has been around for decades, blame for its recent surge in popularity has been largely pinned on video sharing app, TikTok.

According to the Royal Children’s Melbourne Hospital, chroming has become a “general term used to describe the inhalation of volatile substances/solvents as recreational drugs”.

Deodorant, which falls into the butane category, was among a range of volatile household or industrial solvents being inhaled, largely by adolescents.

Coles has also decided to lock up deodorant at certain stores in what it said was intended to “minimise harm caused by the misuse of aerosol products”.

“A number of our stores now have lockable aerosol cabinets installed, and customers seeking to purchase these products can simply ask a team member at the service desk for assistance,” a spokesperson told news.com.au last year.

“We’ve had positive feedback from our customers since we introduced the lockable aerosol cabinets. It takes the whole community to support this issue.”

Serious health problems including seizures, heart palpations and even sudden death can be caused by misuse of deodorant cans.

Woolworths responds

A spokesperson said the move was part of the chain’s desire to “explore practical solutions” to the “misuse of aerosol products across the country”.

“We’ve fitted a number of our stores with in-aisle restricted items cabinets since 2021, and are currently in the process of expanding this across our store network,” they told news.com.au.

“This is set to be completed by the end of the month.

“We understand that this is a complex issue and that’s why we continue to engage with a variety of organisations including police, community groups and our own store team members.

“We also continue to explore further ways to help the broader community effort to address misuse.”


Read related topics:Woolworths

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *