High street stores are being turned into fortresses amid a shoplifting epidemic – with everyday items from duvets to washing powder put under lock and key.
The problem has even led to the Co-op warning some communities could become ‘no-go’ areas for shops.
And a Sainsbury’s in south London, which was once the chain’s biggest supermarket in the country, is set to shut later this year with staff claiming theft is one of the factors behind the decision.
Fortress stores are introducing extra guards, electronic security barriers at self-service tills, body cameras for employees and even facial recognition systems to spot known shoplifters.
Some retailers are putting dummy packages on sale – for products such as coffee – which have to be taken to the till to be swapped for the real thing.