Pak 'n Save owner sees a good side

Last updated 13:00 25/04/2011

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The owner-operator of Hamilton's Mill St Pak 'n Save is hoping the Anzac and Easter spirit will get the better of shoppers who helped themselves to groceries on Friday.

The supermarket was to open at 1pm today after a weekend of publicity about a computer glitch which saw the doors to the supermarket unlock and lights turn on at 8am on Good Friday.

"We have already heard from some people just wanting to confirm that they had been in to the store and paid through the self-service terminals," store owner Glenn Miller said this morning.

"It certainly isn't as bad as we first thought and you can tell by the way the people are acting that they are just going about their normal routine buying groceries – nobody came in and just went for it," he said.

Mr Miller confirmed this morning that the doors opened at 8am, with the first customer entering the unattended supermarket at 8.03am.

"We've even heard from a couple of girls who said they came into the supermarket but left when they sensed something was not right."

About half of the 24 people who came into the supermarket paid for their groceries using the self-scan service. The service stopped working after alcohol was scanned, requiring a staff member to check a customer's age before the system is unlocked.

Police were alerted at 9.20am by a report of people leaving with "truckloads of groceries".

While Mr Miller was initially furious over the incident, fearing that thousand of dollars of groceries may have gone out the door, he could see humour in the situation.

"I can certainly see the funny side of it... but I'd rather not have the publicity to be honest. It makes me look a bit of a dickhead."

The first customer arrived with a young child, spent 20 minutes selecting groceries, scanned them, paid, and walked out, Mr Miller said.

"I still think she probably doesn't know we weren't there. It is the funniest thing. You just have to laugh your head off when you watch."

Mr Miller does not intend to claim insurance. Nor is he going to take legal action. He is hopeful some people will feel guilty and "cough up".

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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