A few months ago, Coles faced backlash for banning single-use plastic bags. What followed was a series of backflips from the supermarket giant which resulted in them reintroducing plastic bags before banning them again and offering complimentary reusable plastic bags before the cut-off date.
Now, the supermarket chain is following further backlash after it was revealed they were banning shopping trolleys in self-serve checkouts in a trial that will affect only a small number of stores across the country.
One of the stores included in the trial is Fountain Gate in Melbourne. It has been reported by the Herald Sun that staff members had informed customers that trolleys were no longer welcome in the self-serve areas as an attempt to minimise theft.
The trial ban has angered many consumers who have taken to social media to complain about how it is an inconvenience, with one shopper venting on Facebook that the ban resulted in an "unpleasant paying experience".
Coles has responded to a few posts on their Facebook page by explaining that the ban is being trialled as a way to "improve service to customers and ease congestion," and that they are "accepting baskets only" in the self-serve areas. The supermarket has also reassured customers that "team members are available to serve customers with trolleys in the main lane registers."
Speaking to news.com.au, a Coles spokeswoman claimed that, "Assisted check-outs are a preferred choice of checkout for many customers and offer convenience and efficiency in their shopping experience."
The spokeswoman would not confirm which stores around the country were participating in the policy trial. However, she did claim that it was just a small number of stores out of the total 800 or so stores countrywide.
Although there is some growing backlash, there is also support for the trial ban.
Some shoppers have claimed online that their local Coles already have signs at their self-serve checkouts that claim they should be used for "12 items or less".
This article originally appeared on New Idea.