It’s been a bad few days for the Woolworths marketing department. First came revelations that its Marvel Comics disc collector promotion didn’t have enough of the 42 discs for kids to collect – prompting some people to sell the rare ones for as much as $800 on eBay.
Now the retailer has created a fresh social media storm after its home pregnancy tests were found to be kept in locked security containers forcing customers to ask staff to unlock them before purchase.
Complaints to the company’s Facebook page raged that it was unfair that women worried they could be pregnant were somehow forced to ask permission from store staff.
They also noted that other similar priced items (the test kits retail around the $25-mark) weren’t also locked away. The photo below shows unlocked smoking aids, next to the pregnancy test kits, retailing in the mid-30s.
The social media campaign, that’s had almost 750 comments, was started by Ellie Blackwood who posted: “Hi Woolworths, I was wondering why your pregnancy tests are stored in electronic cases that require women and girls to seek permission before they can purchase? It certainly can’t be because they are deemed a luxury or expensive item, because the more costly Nicobate product next to the test is sitting unsecured on the shelf.”
While many agreed the security measures were necessary to prevent theft, most sympathised that women who thought they could possibly be pregnant could be experiencing a great deal of stress and anxiety and locking-up the test kits could only exacerbate that.
Blackwood argued if the kits were being stolen it was probably due to a women’s embarrassment.
One person posted: “It places barriers between women, and girls, who may want to obtain a pregnancy test but be anxious about doing so.” Another added: “Disgraceful. You don’t see those security boxes on other commonly stolen products. Such as make-up?”
A Woolworths spokesperson told the mums website Kidspot: “We have a range of measures in place to prevent stock loss.”