Waitrose has installed cages outside a Suffolk store so parents can lock up their unruly children, it has emerged.
The secure pens allows shoppers to browse the supermarket aisles in peace without noisy and badly behaved kids running amok.
Supermarket bosses say they are trialing the children’s cages at their Ipswich store in Futura Park.
Four cages have been built, each capable of holding one child of up to ten years old, or two aged under five.
“The response has been very good so far,” a Waitrose spokesman explained.
“Parents enjoy being able to shop without the hassle of their bored kids making a nuisance of themselves.
“And other shoppers certainly appreciate not having to listen to children shrieking and running around without being disciplined.”
He said the trial would last another two weeks, but it seemed certain the results would mean the cages being extended nationwide.
Waitrose customer Lorraine Fisher, 34, from Framlingham, said: “I don’t come into a pleasant and exclusive shopping environment like Waitrose to be faced with horrible children causing chaos.
“Their parents cannot cope with them and they all end up shouting at each other. So I for one agree with putting them in cages.”
The cages operate on a similar payment system to the trolleys. Simply put your child inside the cage, close the door and use the lock by inserting a £1 coin.
“The money and your child is returned when you have finished your shop,” the Waitrose spokesman said.
He added it was not uncommon for the children to get upset or distressed while locked up outside the store entrance for everyone to see.
“There is a water supply, but some may get aggressive so we have had to put up sign warning shoppers not to approach or touch them.”