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Supermarkets have ‘display only’ bottles of ketchup on shelves due to thefts

Bottles of tomato ketchup have become such a target for shoplifters that a Co-op store has taken drastic counter measures.

To combat opportunistic criminals taking a fancy to Heinz's 460g red sauce, priced at £2.50, staff have on show half empty bottles labelled, "display only".

But with the bottles now half empty, the supermarket hopes that this will put an end to the issue.

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Consequently, confused customers in the London branch of the shop, have been redirected by a sign telling them to speak to a member of staff for assistance.

Explaining the measures, an employee at the Blackhorse Lane branch in Walthamstow said it was: "To stop shoplifters nicking them."

The supermarket opted to put completely empty bottles in place of bigger 700g bottles.

But while the idea serves a purpose, it's aggravated one shopper, who pointed out a huge flaw in the premise.

According to The Daily Mail, the 51-year-old said: "It's a sign of the times, I suppose, and people round here really like their ketchup.

"But I don't think it's very hygienic to put half-empty bottles on the shelf. It's proper minging.'

"There's loads of rats round here already."

Sadly for the Co-op, theft is something they have to deal with on a regular basis.

Elsewhere, at the Manor House branch in North London, Ferrero Rocher boxes are now in plastic GPS-protected security boxes.

In addition, toiletries, like sun cream, deodorant, moisturiser and nose spray, have also become targeted goods and have subsequently been locked away.

While he didn't want to have to go this extreme, an employee at the shop couldn't see any other option.

He said: "We have had to do it because of shoplifters.

"Things like coffee, even chocolate, was being stolen so much, so that's why we have done this.

"Now, if you want to buy something in a box, you have to bring it up to us, and we can get it for you."

Due to the cost of living crisis, in October 2022, as per the Office of National Statistics in the UK, the price of consumer goods and services, increased at its fastest rate in forty years.

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