Asda is asking hundreds of suppliers to put security tags on packaging in a bid to reduce shrinkage by 30%.

Asda loss prevention manager Kate Defraja said the new regime would cut store theft, improve customer service, product availability, and increase sales.

In addition, staff productivity would improve because the security labels would be applied at point of manufacture, not when goods were delivered to store, she said.

Asda has already rolled out a deactivation system to scanners at checkouts at all 258 stores.

It set up the Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) system in partnership with security company ADT Fire and Security, the UK subsidiary of Tyco International, which works with Wal-Mart in America.

If tagged goods are not deactivated at the checkout they set off security alarms by the exit.