Retail stores do not have the legal authority to demand a receipt be shown before allowing a customer to exit the building. If they forcibly detail a person from leaving without having probable cause to make an arrest (yes, picture the Andy Griffith show, shouting 'Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest!'), they have most likely broken the law regarding false imprisonment. If they take or hold the customer's property, they have committed theft. Depending upon the value of the property, it could be considered a felony. Loss prevention specialists are typically trained to follow certain rules before approaching and detaining someone they suspect of stealing store property. Mostly, they have to observe the customer secrete an item in such a manner that a reasonable and prudent man (there's that term again) would believe that the customer intended to steal it. They must keep the customer under constant surveillance up until they make an apprehension. If they fail to do so, they generally are trained not to make the stop - it just isn't worth it if they stop or even tackle someone and they turn out not to have the store's property on them. Fry's is notorious for checking receipts - and at one time, they demanded customers show them. They got sued - big time. They lost. Now they stand around and 'loom over' you and 'act like' you have to show them your receipt. You don't have to. You are well within your rights to walk right out. Oh, they'll still try to get you to comply. But take note of the words they use: "Sir, I need you to come back here! Sir!" Yes, they need. Well, I don't need what they need. That's their ***. "Sir, it is our store policy to check every receipt." Yes, and if I were an employee, I'd be bound by YOUR STORE POLICY. But your store policy does not have the effect of law on me. You and your store policy can step aside now, please. "Sir, I will come after you." Yes, you will. And continue to beg me to stop. But you won't stop me, nor will you lay a hand on me. Because you've been told not to by your management. NOTE: This may not be true at "buyer's clubs" like Sams, Costco, and so forth. You generally signed away your right to refuse search when you got your membership card. That's a binding contract, so if they want to stop you, they can - and search you - even against your will. You said they could in writing. I have heard much about how handwringing about how much money stores lose due to theft. I'm sorry to hear that they do. But I do not steal. I do not give retail stores permission to search me or my property (and yes, it is your property the moment you pay for it, not 'not until you leave the store' as some believe). I've been accosted. I walk away. Would I walk away from a police officer? No, of course not. A police officer has the full legal authority to detain me to determine my name, address, and what I'm about, and I must comply. If a police officer orders me to stop, I will. However, a police officer cannot search my bag and compare it to the receipt, either, except in that he can pat me down for weapons and ensure my bag doesn't have any in it. I am a bit surprised that the same people who get their panties in a wad over the very thought of government intervention into licensing martial arts centers or instructors would just meekly hand over their receipt and open their bag to have their own property inspected because some minimum-wage mouth-breather said so. No one at Wal-Mart, CompUSA, BestBuy, etc, are going to stop me at the door. They've tried, I just say "No, thank you" and walk around them and out the door. They tell me what they need me to do, I ignore them. They tell me they're going to 'come after me' and I ignore them. I've had them write down my license number - I let them and patiently wait until they're done before I carefully back out and drive away. I've never been visited by the police, never had a police report filed on me. I know because that information is public domain and I check. http://www.thelegality.com/archives/36 By the way, a lot of cops think you have to show your receipt if asked, too. They're wrong. Not a biggie, and if push came to shove, I am in no hurry to be arrested and go to jail just so I could sue the city and get a settlement, so I'd probably cave - but in reality, no, the cop is wrong if they say that. However, I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice. Ask an attorney.