When A. saw that a local craft store had a “no bags” policy, she assumed that meant that the store didn’t allow shopping bags from other stores. No, it refers to purses and other personal bags. It’s not a huge hardship to lock one’s purse up and carry one’s wallet around in order to browse a store, but it is awfully annoying.
The store is relatively isolated and located in a nice suburb, but still evidently has enough problems with theft that they’re willing to alienate longtime customers like A.
[The store] has lockers inside a vestibule as you enter the front door. They expect customers to lock up their purses before entering the store, and have a sign to that effect. If you bring your purse into the store, they will confront you about it, which they did to me, and I just turned around and walked out. I was incredulous to learn that they include handbags/purses, as well in their “no bags” rule. As they are located in a warehouse-type locale where one would be unlikely to bring a bag in from other shopping anyway, it seemed like a reasonable, if annoying, request. But to be approached because I brought my purse in the store was just over the top.
As was explained to me by the person who was identified as the “manager” when I asked to speak to one, apparently they expect customers to lock up their purses, make their selection of merchandise, stand in line and wait to be called to the counter, go to the counter, and when it comes time to pay for the merchandise, walk back out of the store and retrieve one’s cash/credit card/whatever from the locker, then re-enter the store, pay for the merchandise, then pick up the purse on the way out of the store.
They seem to perceive their customers to be thieves and treat them all this way. I’m amazed that they’re still in business, but I guess people are so accustomed to being maltreated that they’ll roll over and suffer any indignity to get the merchandise they want. I now do my shopping for this type of merchandise elsewhere, including online, even though I was a customer of theirs for probably 30 years or more.
College bookstores famously have policies like this during peak textbook season: I had to ditch my backpack and carry my wallet around the store in college and in grad school. Other stores out in the real world do it, too.