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Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Source: Daily Mail

They are normally found on luxury items such as perfume or single malt whisky.

But a supermarket has started security tagging £1.97 Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate bars in an attempt to stop shoplifters raiding its sweets aisle. The stick-on strips will set off alarms if the chocolate is stolen.

One staff member at Tesco Express in Polegate, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, said at least one bar was stolen an hour and described ‘ransacking’ of confectionery.

Sarah Crodey, of the British Retail Consortium, said shoppers will start to see more low-value items tagged as the economic downturn continues.

In 2008, Sainsbury’s in Eastbourne started tagging budget chickens and in 2009 some Tesco stores put tags on Cathedral City cheese.

One staff member said at least one bar was stolen an hour and described how confectionary was ‘ransacked’ at the store.

A spokesman for the Polegate shop said: ‘The tags are stickers. They are not very noticeable.

‘We put them on the chocolate bars because they were going missing.

‘It depends on your area what kind of things are taken. For stores close to schools it is likely to be school kids coming in and taking chocolate bars.’

One shopper said: ‘I was a bit shocked when I saw them. It seems such a small thing but I guess if they were being stolen, it’s fair enough. All these little things count.’

Tagging of groceries and household items is not new. In 2008, a Sainsbury’s in Eastbourne started tagging budget chickens and in 2009, some UK Tesco stores put the metal strips on Cathedral City cheese.

Tesco said it was up to the discretion of store managers to decided which products needed tagging in their stores.

A spokesman for Cadbury’s said: ‘I know chocolate is irresistible but Dairy Milk is one of the more affordable brands so it’s surprising our bars need a tag on them.’

Sarah Crodey, from the British Retail Consortium, said shoppers will start to see more tags attached to the cheaper popular branded items as the economic downturn drives more people to steal groceries and luxuries.

She said: ‘Changes in technology mean security tags are more affordable and we must remember that theft from a retailer is not a victimless crimes.

‘It pushes up prices across the board for honest customers paying for their shopping. Shoplifting is a serious crime.’

Major stores reported shoplifting up by 33% as the recession started to bite in 2009. It is estimated that items worth £400,000 are stolen from shops every day.

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Daily Mail