Lidl is claiming a supermarket first with plans to roll out body-worn cameras to all its stores.
The discounter has invested £2m to complete the rollout of the security measure across its UK estate by spring 2024.
Stores will start to receive the cameras from next month, in a move aimed at improving the safety of staff and customers amid a rise in crime targeting retail.
A number of other supermarkets including Tesco, Aldi and Morrisons have also been deploying body cameras in some stores as shoplifting rates soar. Tesco CEO Ken Murphy CEO said in September that staff in all stores would be offered the devices.
However, Lidl said its move differed in that it was guaranteeing to put multiple cameras in every store.
It comes after MP Sarah Champion wrote to Lidl GB CEO Ryan McDonnell in September asking if he would offer body cameras to staff in a Rotherham store, having witnessed a theft there.
“As a business with over 960 stores across the length and breadth of the country, safety and security has always been an absolute priority for us,” said McDonnell.
“While our stores are typically safe environments, retail crime is something that is impacting the whole industry. Our investment into ensuring all our stores have body-worn cameras is just one of the ways we’re taking action to protect and provide reassurance to our colleagues and customers.”
Lidl last month became a founding member of Project Pegasus, a business and police partnership aiming to tackle serious and organised retail crime, using £60k of funding committed by retailers over two years.
McDonnell added: “It is essential the industry comes together to find new and innovative ways to combat serious and organised retail crime across the UK.
“Amongst our own initiatives, we’re proud to be part of Project Pegasus, which presents a real opportunity for retailers, police forces, and the Home Office to work together to address the alarming rise of incidents facing retail workers every day.”