Primark adding stickers to bags to stop shoplifters from walking out of stores with stolen goods

Checkout staff at some Primark branches have started sealing up its paper carrier bags with blue "sold" stickers to stop shoplifters.

It means any customers carrying bags without the stickers will be stopped at the door by store security guards.

A Primark spokesperson told Sky News: "Antisocial behaviour and retail crime is rising right across the retail industry and we're working with other retailers and organisations to help tackle this.

"We have a range of security measures in place in our stores and we're now also trialling some new measures to help prevent stock loss, which includes sealing bags with 'sold' stickers once a customer pays for their items at the tills.

"We'll be keeping an eye on this and monitoring the impact these new measures have, listening to feedback from our colleagues and customers."

The spokesperson added the firm would not be disclosing which Primark branches are trialling the scheme - given it is a security measure.

A worker at a branch in London told The Sun: "The thieves would put anything in which didn't have a tag and wouldn't set an alarm off.

"They could blend in with customers because you can only get bags from the checkouts. It was very hard for security guards to spot."

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Last October, business chiefs including the bosses of Primark, Boots and WHSmith wrote to the then home secretary Suella Braverman calling for the introduction of a specific criminal offence to assault or abuse shop staff following attacks on workers.

This would allow for violent incidents against retail workers carrying out age checks or preventing theft to be counted as "aggravated", and so eligible for a more severe sentence, they said.

It would also see England and Wales follow in the footsteps of Scotland, which introduced a similar move back in 2021.

A survey from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which organised the letter signed by 90 business leaders, found incidents of violence and abuse towards retail workers nearly doubled in the 2021-22 financial year compared with before the pandemic.

Around £953m was estimated to have been stolen from retailers.