A SHOPPER has accused a supermarket of making customers feel like thieves after implementing a 'new policy' where customers have their bags searched.

Michelle James has used the Aldi in Bath Road since it first opened but said she will now avoid the budget supermarket after she had to show the contents in her bag. 

She is one of several shoppers who have expressed dismay after being asked to put empty bags on the conveyor belt and any receipts for any other shopping bags not bought in Aldi.

Aldi has remained adamant that it is 'not a new policy'.

Worcester News: Michelle James Michelle James (Image: Michelle James)Miss James said the ordeal made her guilty and furious. 

"I was at the checkout, and an elderly gentleman was in front of me protesting, and then a young man behind me had two bags rolled up like sausages and had to have them both checked," she said.

"I stood there feeling furious, it was like they accused me of theft.

"What they are saying is, has she stolen something?

"I would understand more if it was at the self-checkouts, but this is manned till."

Miss James said she has complained to Aldi, who told her on the phone that the bag checks are random and people can decline to show the bag's contents.

However, she said everyone purchasing an item was checked, and everyone was told they had to do it because it was "company policy".

Worcester News: Aldi in Bath RoadAldi in Bath Road (Image: NQ)She added: "I do get it in the sense that if you have nothing to hide, why not show what's in your bag? Also, police cannot randomly stop you on the street."

Other Worcester News readers have also shared their upset after hearing that the store is doing bag searches.

Tracey Bowkett said: "The stupid thing about it was I had just taken the empty folded-up plastic bag from out of my handbag."

And Tina Jackson added: "It felt like airport security. Nosing into my handbag. It's a reasonable size, but I did not expect all bags to be checked."

Like Serena Davis, other readers said they have complained to the head office. 

Aldi said, in line with other retailers, bag checks are being carried out in stores by colleagues where needed. 

"We apologise to Miss James for her experience and have taken her feedback on board." 

The decision for bag checks is made at a store level, and customers will not be stopped from making purchases or leaving the store if they refuse to have their bags searched.

Previously, Aldi told Worcester News it is not a new policy.

It added that the policy was introduced last year, but the decision is taken at a store level.