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Australian employers are excited about healthy micro markets but the new concept of an open food market often triggers the question...'what about potential theft?

Micro markets, otherwise known as an unattended food and drink market, can now provide employees with convenient access to fresh and healthy food, 24/7. An employee is able to pick a product from an open rack display, or reach-in refrigerator and scan the item at a self-checkout kiosk. The open market concept, however, raises the question of potential theft.

Whilst micro markets are new to Australia, they are not new to the United States, the UK and other European countries. The theft rates across these countries have proven to be low. Total shrinkage rates including theft, waste and accidental theft are 2.5% in the US and even lower at 1.4% in the UK.*

Why are they so low?

Firstly, micro markets only exist in secure access environments serving a known group. As a result, secure access workplaces are ideal locations for micro markets.

Secondly, there is a formal payment facility via the self-checkout kiosk. Sadly, the honour box systems of the past rarely worked due to the lack of a formal payment process.

Lastly and importantly, the markets are operated within a monitored framework focussing on prevention, control and management:

  1. Prevention – micro markets are equipped with 24/7 surveillance cameras and signage;
  2. Control – The operator undertakes regular inventory checks to verify if there are any discrepancies in stock levels; and
  3. Management – Reporting and video evidence of theft is provided to the employer.
The question is; are employees willing to put their job at risk for a protein bar?


The answer is; 98% of employees will do the right thing and appreciate the benefits that a micro market brings to their workplace. The other 2% who do the wrong thing, will be identified through the surveillance measures and reported to their employer. It’s then up to the employer how they wish to manage the issue.

Given the overwhelming benefits that a micro market can bring such as:

  • Improved employee health and wellbeing
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Increased employee productivity; and
  • Enhanced company culture

……the decision becomes an easy one for any employer.

For more information on how Morsl can provide your workplace with a convenient and healthy micro market, visit

*Source: 365 Retail Markets