New Walmart Policy Angers Some Shoppers But Should It, Really?

The reported new Walmart policy has angered some of the store’s most loyal shoppers, but do they really have a right to be upset? The new policy reportedly implemented by the huge retailer is being touted as part of the store’s plan to mitigate theft. Many Walmart shoppers feel such a policy is branding them as dishonest before they’ve even set foot in the store.

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The change in policy has to do with purse size. According to at least one media report from New Mexico, shoppers are being turned away from stores if it is determined that their purse size is too large. The store in question has a sign posted saying that bags and containers that are larger than 12″x12″x8″ are no longer allowed inside the store.

KOAT via YouTube

KOAT via YouTube

Since a lot of us are visual learners, myself included, I had to see just how big a 12″x12″x8″ container would be. I am here to tell you, that it’s not that big. In fact, based on what I discovered on the website Bagvanity the standard medium-sized purse meets those dimensions.

According to Bagvanity.com the medium-sized bag can carry a mobile phone, a wallet, small cosmetics, and maybe a paperback novel just to give you an idea. A large bag will carry all of that and maybe a bottle of water, but it’s only another two to four inches larger.

Here’s a picture of the woman and her purse that were denied entry.

KOAT via YouTube

KOAT via YouTube

The Extra-Large bag according to Bagvanity is the one that I think the alleged Walmart rule was intended to squelch. This bag is more than a foot and a half wide and can carry all of the stuff we mentioned before plus a slew of electronic gadgets and other stuff. I’m pretty sure that’s why store policy also includes backpacks too.

Just for the sake of clarity, this change in policy was reported by KOAT TV in New Mexico.

The station asked local management for clarification on the policy, but they referred the reporters to a corporate spokesperson. A patron who was refused entrance to the store reportedly called Walmart’s corporate headquarters and was told there was no such policy in place at any of their Walmart stores. KOAT TV also placed a call to the Walmart corporate offices, but as of this report they had not received a reply.

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Now, if you’re wondering do stores have the right to limit your bag size or demand that you check a bag that they feel is too big before they allow you to enter their store, the answer is yes. They can also legally search your bag when you leave if they have reason to believe you have stolen items in that bag.

Incidentally, Walmart has been enforcing a No Backpack Policy since early June so it’s not a surprise that some stores may have gravitated towards this store policy to include some handbags that are considered oversized. So, the next time you’re heading to Walmart keep in mind that if you have that Mom’s Attic-sized pocketbook, you’re probably going to have less than a pleasurable shopping experience.

I guess you’ll just have to ask your greeter for a bigger buggy. Or, you could join me on memory lane and take a mental shopping trip to stores that no longer exist. You can carry any size bag you want in those stores.

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