Fights break out in Tesco over 'reduced to clear' section as security increased amid cost of living crisis

21 March 2024, 15:40 | Updated: 21 March 2024, 15:53

Fights break out in Preston Tesco over 'reduced to clear' section amid cost of living crisis
Fights break out in Preston Tesco over 'reduced to clear' section amid cost of living crisis. Picture: Alamy / X Dan Alsop / Hannah Shorrock

By Danielle De Wolfe

A Tesco store in Preston has been forced to implement additional security measures after a series of fights broke out near the 'reduced to clear' section amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

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Shoppers took to social media to post images of the "crazy" scene, with barriers placed around a section of fridges containing reduced food items.

Members of security can be seen guarding the chillers, with two separate pictures uploaded to social media, shared 10 days apart, showing cordons in place as hopeful shoppers looking on.

It comes amid reports the cut-price, yellow stickered food has caused regular scuffles in the supermarket.

The Tesco store, located in Deepdale Retail Park on Liverpool Road, was previously a Morrisons until it changed hands last year.

It comes as the the Bank of England today held interest rates at 5.25%, a 16-year-high which has seen many household budgets stretched to breaking point.

It comes amid reports the cut-price, yellow stickered food has caused regular scuffles in the Tesco supermarket.
It comes amid reports the cut-price, yellow stickered food has caused regular scuffles in the Tesco supermarket. Picture: Twitter / Dan10k

Taking to Twitter, local shopper Dan Alsop posted an image of the safety measures, commenting: "Actual barriers up in @Tesco Preston around the “Reduced to Clear” section as apparently there’s been scraps recently.

He added: "Crazy world we live in. #CostOfLivingCrisis"

It comes as new official figures suggest the UK’s poorest families are being hit hardest by the cost of living crisis.

The figures show 300,000 more children have been plunged into poverty amid falling incomes and soaring levels of hunger and food bank use.

Read more: Bank of England holds interest rate at 16-year high of 5.25%, despite drop in inflation rate

Read more: ‘Dramatic’ decline in birth rates mean world’s population could fall for the first time since the Black Death

Another local shopper, Hannah Shorrock, from Preston, documented the crowd gathering around the reduced aisle, labelling the scene "crazy".

It comes amid claims shop management have now had to implement a cap of just two reduced items per customer in a bid to stop shoppers hoarding reduced items following increased demand.

Taking to Facebook, Ms Shorrock wrote: "Only in Preston Tesco. Security had fencing around the reduced items with a security guard making people que up and enter the area one by one.

"To top it off I heard him say that people are only allowed 2 items each! It's ridiculous."

Only in Preston Tesco. Security had fencing around the reduced items with a security guard making people que up and...

Posted by Hannah Shorrock on Saturday, March 9, 2024

The shopper added that "it didn't even look like there was much there", adding that the Preston superstore even placed "security tags on pens" to ward of shoplifters.

It comes as new poverty figures from the Department for Work and Pensions suggest that 4.3 million children in the UK are living in relative poverty - a record figure.

Thursday's announcement by the Bank of England marks the fifth time in a row that the Bank has held its interest rate at the same level.

Last time, two members of the Bank's monetary policy committee voted for another rate hike to 5.5%. This time, eight voted to hold and one to cut the rate.

High interest rates are intended to slow down spending, which is a measure for controlling inflation.

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