TESCO is putting up security barricades to protect staff from desperate shoppers when they put reduced stickers on food.Customers have been snatching the bargains from workers’ hands as soon as yellow stickers go on.
1Tesco has introduced barriers to stop customers grabbing all the yellow sticker reduced items
Staff at one branch in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, told managers they did not feel safe.
Now barriers are being used in a worrying sign of how the cost of living crisis is deepening.
It comes after official figures showed everyday grocery items have jumped by 17 per cent in the past year.
Some staples have risen even more, with vegetable oil up 65 per cent and pasta up 60 per cent.
To avoid scrums at the aisles, supermarkets are keeping their yellow sticker times secret but the biggest reductions are usually just before stores shut.
One supermarket source says there are often large gatherings of shoppers at 4pm hovering in aisles to hoover up discounted food which is reduced as it is close to its use-by date.
Other supermarkets are using the barriers in some branches.
A Morrisons spokesman said “The barriers were used during Covid to help protect our colleagues health and some stores have continued to use them since then.”
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Helen Dickinson of the British Retail Consortium, said: “We have seen violence and abuse against shopworkers go up during the pandemic but instead of it alleviating since then, it’s getting worse.”
Tesco chairman John Allan has previously spoken of shoppers telling cashiers to stop ringing up goods when the bill hits £40 as it is all the cash they have.
Shoplifting is also said to be up.