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The Detroit Free Press reports that Meijer has decided to toughen its return policy, which for more than seven decades has not required a sales receipt in order to obtain a refund.

According to the paper, “mounting losses to shoplifters and increasing competitive pressures have led to the retailer's decision to impose a stricter ‘no receipt, no return’ approach.”

The company started testing the new policy in select stores last year, but will make it chain-wide by the end of the summer.

Meijer has not detailed the extent of the losses it has been suffering.

"As we open more stores, our stock losses continue to escalate," said company spokesman Steve VanWagoner. "We looked at all of our competitors and most of them have a similar policy."
KC's View:
Without judging whether the change in a 71-year-old policy is a good idea or not, we would observe that at a time when you’re trying to differentiate yourself, saying you want to have a policy similar to the competition isn’t always the best approach.

The other question – that only customers can answer – is whether the original Meijer return policy is so central to its culture that any change proves to be offensive to shoppers.

Because these kinds of cultural changes are to be undertaken with great care.