Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/26/kiwi_market/

Computer glitch opens un-staffed supermarket to happy Kiwis

Dirty dozen go wild in the aisles without self-scanning

By Joe Fay

Posted in Bootnotes, 26th April 2011 11:52 GMT

Canny Kiwis were given a Good Friday bonus when a computer system automatically opened a supermarket to all comers.

The Mill St Pak 'n Save in Hamilton, New Zealand should have been shut for Good Friday, but the godless computer system overrode a manual command to shutter up, and flicked on the lights and threw open the automatic doors at 8am despite a complete absence of any staff.

Records show the first customer wandered in at 8.03am, with a trickle of punters between then and 9.20am, at which point police arrived to stop what was threatening to become a free-for-all, stuff.co.nz reports.

The store's owner, Glenn Miller, told the Waikato Times that 24 people stocked up during the unscheduled opening hours.

Half of those used the self-scanning kit to pay for their goods. The other dirty dozen took advantage of the assistant-less zombie store to help themselves, with the police arriving after receiving a report of people making off with truckloads of groceries.

Miller was initially furious, but told the paper: "I can certainly see the funny side of it ... It makes me look a bit of a dickhead."

He said he hoped people would feel guilty and "cough up", hinting that as well as the automatic doors, lights and tills, the shop's security CCTV had also kicked into life.

Local cops told the paper, "When we arrived there were cars leaving all over the place. There were some people in the shop at the checkouts legitimately purchasing items [using the self-service facilities] and others in the store. We couldn't tell who had paid and who hadn't and so our first priority was to close the supermarket and contact the owners." ®