The Chainlink

No backpack rule at Pete's fresh market: discriminatory to cyclists?

At the Pete's where I regularly do groceries on Madison by Western, they've started to get more vocal with me about their enforcement of their no backpack rule (the security folks at the door have). I think this discriminates against cyclists (discrimination doesn't have to be targeted, it can be a naturally occurring result). I've yet to take it up with their management, just wondering what the chainlinkers think about this.

Of course it's their store and I understand security concerns. I understand I could not shop there, but I like the convenience and selection and I would think security can just catch shoplifters the same way other stores with less restrictive backpack rules do.

I just think it isn't very nice to not accommodate cyclist shoppers! We tend to have backpacks so we can carry our groceries etc (I also have bike baskets but I like carrying my phone and wallet and any extra groceries that don't otherwise fit - in the backpack). It's not like we can leave the backpack in the car (their suggestion is for me to take it and leave it with customer service- I don't feel safe leaving my stuff with them and I'd have to enter the exit and then go all the way back around to do my shopping and come back and wait to get my backpack before I can check out- not very practical!)

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Shop at Mariano's on Damen and Chicago.They permit cyclists with backpacks. It's about 2 miles from Pete's.
I do sometimes shop there as well although Pete's prices are slightly better overall.

I don't see why a backpack is any different than bringing your own bag.  Anyway, probably what I'd do is bring a reusable or thin canvas bag in my knapsack and secure the knapsack to the bike when I went in the store.  However, I don't know how secure you'd be doing that.  I've never had a problem leaving bags with customer service, either.  It's a drag, though.

Yes it is a drag!

I don't know that I'd call it discrimination but it sure isn't customer-friendly to bicyclists. When I shop on the way home, I have my wallet in my backpack, which means I'd have to carry it in my hand while shopping at Pete's. I'd worry about misplacing it that way. I've never had a problem at any of the stores I shop in. Maybe a note to the manager would be helpful?

I never had any problem at any other stores either. Maybe I will try a note. Thanks!

It's not discrimination. It's the lack of adding a "provision" for cyclists, assuming they enforce the rule equally for everyone. Yeah, make a suggestion to the management, I bet they change the policy. 

Harkening back to my legal background I disagree - it is a type of "discrimination" (not that cyclists are a protected class, but maybe we should be!).

"What Is Unintentional Discrimination? Sometimes, an employer's policies adversely affect employees based on their sex, race, or other protected characteristic. The policies or criteria may seem neutral, but end up having a disproportionate outcome on members of different protected classes. In legal terms, this kind of policy has a "disparate impact" on members of one protected class as compared to another. For example, a minimum weight requirement for a job may violate anti-discrimination laws because it would exclude a disproportionate number of women, as women generally weigh less than men. - See more at:"

I'm not saying it's anything legally actionable but it roughly fits conceptually as "disparate impact" discrimination to cyclists.
Right on! Exactly what I was getting at!

"More prone to theft" is not enough justification to you? (assuming it's true, of course)

I think there's less restrictive alternatives than inconveniencing law abiding backpack toting cyclist customers. That's one of many security measures they should have in their toolkit.
Loss prevention is a serious issue for the retail industry. Costs from it get passed on to consumers through higher prices in the store. Retail security efforts have been greatly affected by liability concerns from recent attempts to enforce rules and catch shoplifters. Some stores in our area now currently limit certain items on the shelf to reduce the large amount of loss in a shoplifting crime. Some of these stores have greatly reduced security personnel and end up waving through, and not stopping or checking customers that set off the security scanners by the exit doors.


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