Sainsbury's puts cardboard champagne bottles on display to deter theft

Cham-paper? Bottles of £48 champagne are replaced with laminated pictures (and still kept in the fridge) in Sainsbury’s bid to stop shoplifters

  • Bottles of  Moët Champagne in Warlingham, Surrey have been hidden from view
  • Sainsbury’s removed the champagne from display due to a shoplifting epidemic 

Britain’s shoplifting crisis has forced a top retailer to replace expensive bottles of champagne in the fridge with laminated photocopies of the product. 

A Sainsbury’s store in Warlingham, Surrey advised shoppers: ‘If you’d like to purchase any of these Moët Champagnes, please go to customer service.’ 

This follows other shops being forced to stock empty boxes of Ferrero Rocher, Nescafe on the shelves, or place multipacks of John West tuna inside security cases, because of the shoplifting epidemic.

Earlier this month, it emerged that Aldi has supplied staff with body-worn cameras to deter shoplifters. 

However, even when reported to police, many shoplifters escape with a ‘slap on the wrist’ instead of appearing in court to face justice. 

Customers have been asked to approach customer services where they can get a bottle of champagne 

A Sainsbury’s store in Warlingham, Surrey has been forced to hide its expensive champagne due to the ongoing cost of living epidemic (file photograph)

Even charities are facing a shoplifting crisis, with an estimated £15m worth of stock being pilfered. 

In Hartlepool, local shopkeepers claim that major criminal gangs are organising teams of thieves to target their businesses.  

READ MORE: The day I spent watching shoplifters in a local Co-Op

According to figures released by Surrey Police, there have been four reported cases of shoplifting in Warlingham in July 2023. 

Since January, figures from the force suggest there have been 14 reports of shoplifting between January and July, although not all thefts are reported to authorities. 

According to The Sun, among the products under special guard are a £62 bottle of Moët and Chandon Grand Vintage; Moët and Chandon Brut Imperial, worth £43 and a smaller bottle of Brut Imperial Rose for £29.50. 

Personal finance expert Sarah Coles told the paper: ‘This is just the latest sign of the horrible epidemic of shoplifting.

‘Clearly there are people who feel forced to take desperate measures because they can’t make ends meet during the cost of living crisis.

‘But when the items being targeted are such luxury goods, it raises the possibility that these things are being stolen to order.’

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We have a range of security measures in place to prevent theft which our stores can add to at their discretion.’

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