What would your first thoughts be if someone ran this idea past you – that before entering a store, you would have a small amount of money debited from your bank account, and then after you had done your shopping and paid for that, you would be refunded the amount taken from you initially in the first place?
If you were open-minded, you might investigate the idea further. What would the store do? Would it cost customers to simply have a browse? No. What would the store do with the money? Invest it and then return it after three days, like banks do? No, it would simply give it back to you. Would it affect the cost of shopping in any way? No, the cost of your shopping is a separate matter altogether. So why would a store charge you simply for the duration of your time in the store?
It seems like a crazy idea but this is of a refundable entry charge is to discourage shoplifting. If someone enters a store with the intention of leaving with a few items without paying, the entry tax is twofold. One, it would make it financially unfeasible to steal a few small items, and secondly, if someone were emboldened by the idea, there would be an electronic trace by examining the time on the CCTV that the perpetrator entered the store and matching it to the corresponding entry charge.
The purpose of an entry charge is to discourage theft, although it may nor be immediately apparent.
It has been such a successful idea that some are considering extending it to combat theft in another area. Fuel theft costs the economy and also takes up police time when incidents have to be investigated.
It may be a silly idea, but in the future if it is proven to reduce crimes such as fuel theft and other forms of petty theft, maybe this will catch on. Already this has potential in other areas. New ideas always start out on the periphery and get established with time. For example, when Arnold Schoenberg pioneered his twelve-tone music, it was not widely popular at the time, but it has at least claimed a place in music history, and been accepted (not necessarily liked) over the generations. The same oould go for what amounts to security payments for entry to supermarkets and service stations.