A Budgens store in Woodbridge, Suffolk, is set to become the first retailer in the UK to install a system designed to eliminate the theft of items such as razor blades, batteries, tobacco and condoms.

The system, called Vensafe, acts like a vending machine, but customers first pick up a product card and take it to the till for payment and activation before going to the machine to get their item.

The system is already operating in 1,800 c-stores across Scandinavia and Germany and the company is talking to other UK retailers, a spokeswoman said.

The system also gives the retailer more control over availability, she added. It is linked to EPoS and retailers are alerted when a product is running low inside the machine. It can also store a variety of items including non-prescription medicines, mobile phone top-up cards, memory sticks, printer cartridges and stamps.