In a now-viral video, a British Tesco shopper revealed the store has locked certain packages of cheese inside individual security cases.
The video, posted to TikTok by @amberrosegarcia, has garnered over 900,000 views and thousands of comments from stunned viewers who couldn’t believe their eyes. However, some not-so-surprised viewers theorized the store locked away the grocery item to prevent shoplifting amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Shoplifting and the UK’s Cost-of-Living Crisis
The Tesco location featured in @amberrosegarcia’s video isn’t the first retailer to lock away an everyday grocery item. As reported by Insider, an Aldi store in the Midlands region of England also locked away packets of cheese. And an Asda store in Elswick, Newcastle reportedly placed security stickers on tubs of butter.
An Asda spokesperson told Insider that the butter was likely tagged as a result of a recent theft, adding that they didn’t see this action as a “side effect of inflation.” But many experts disagree.
Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages have risen by 9.8 percent in the year to June 2022, according to the UK’s Office of National Statistics. Andy Cooke, the chief inspector of the constabulary, told The Guardian that the increase in food prices will undoubtedly “trigger an increase in crime.”
“There’s no two ways about that,” Cooke said.
Speaking to The Grocer, a UK industry magazine, an anonymous store manager said shoplifters have begun targeting lower-priced, everyday items. Another also said they stopped a “pensioner” trying to steal shampoo.
“With the cost of living, people are going to have to start making choices,” the second manager said.
In her video, @amberrosegarcia stands in Tesco’s cheese aisle and pulls out various security cases to show that packages of Cathedral City cheese have been stored inside individual security cases. The particular brand appears to be priced at 4.15 pounds (nearly $5) per package.
“When the cost of living goes up,” @amberrosegarcia wrote in her post’s caption.
Many commenters were stunned by the situation.
“I thought doing that with meat was shocking!!!! Now cheese!!!” Poppy exclaimed.
“Oh dear god,” Campervanclaire wrote.
“Never thought I would see this,” Louise Michie said.
Teeawiltshire commented: “This is so sad.”
Marissa Jacobs asked: “THIS IS A JOKE RIGHT?!? RIGHT?!?”
Meanwhile, globetownrats was left wondering: “Omg what next.”
Newsweek reached out to @amberrosegarcia for comment.
Inflation in the US
It was reported last week that inflation in the United States reached a 40-year high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US rate of inflation rose to 9.1 percent in June, the biggest yearly increase since 1981.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden told Americans that “tackling inflation” was his “top priority;” However, a CNN poll found that 74 percent of Americans aren’t happy with how Biden has handled the issue thus far, which could spell trouble for Democrats during November’s midterm elections.