Shoppers have slammed an Aldi store after an increase in bag searches.

Customers at the branch in Carlton Terrace, Portslade, complained that “everyone’s” bags are being searched.

Ruth Burgess, from Hove, told The Argus: “Some staff ask to look in bags, but others are grabbing them and looking even into bags with personal items in them.

“I saw an elderly lady have her bags searched in the store recently. A young man grabbed at her shopping trolley and looked in.

“She was clearly flustered and showed her receipts.”

Customers are complaining there are no signs saying all shoppers must agree to a search.

The Argus: The Aldi store is in Carlton Terrace, PortsladeThe Aldi store is in Carlton Terrace, Portslade (Image: Google Maps)

Ms Burgess refused to have her bag searched and a manager was called.

“The manager told me it is company policy, but I have not had my bag searched in any other branch.

“I was told that it was my choice and that I could shop elsewhere if that is what I want to do.”

Ms Burgess left her shopping and went to Lidl in Old Shoreham Road, Hove, instead. 

“There is no reason at all to think most of the shoppers are stealing,” said Ms Burgess.

She took her complaint to Twitter, where she received a message from an Aldi spokeswoman saying: “While shopping in stores, customers are asked to use either a basket or a shopping trolley to place their goods in prior to getting to the checkout.

“Regrettably our stores do have a high level of stock loss and colleagues are required to be vigilant to ensure all products purchased are scanned.

“Personal shopping bags are not permitted to place goods in before approaching the checkout.

“Currently in the Portslade store, all bags within trolleys, personal bags that have shopping in and any other bags that are used around the store to put products in will be checked."

While Ms Burgess now shops elsewhere, her partner still shops in the store and said the bag searches are still happening and customers were visibly unhappy.

In a statement to The Argus, a spokeswoman for Aldi said: "With customers' permission, we are conducting more frequent bag checks at our Carlton Terrace store in Portslade due to a recent increase in shoplifting.”