Supermarket chain Asda will stop selling single kitchen knives in its stores by the end of April.
The move comes following a spate of knife-related incidents across the country, particularly involving young people.
It is illegal to sell kitchen knives to under-18s, but they are one of the most frequently shoplifted items from stores.
Nick Jones, Asda's Senior Vice President, said: “We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to support the communities that we serve. Whilst we have already taken steps to restrict the sale of knives to ensure that they do not fall into the wrong hands, we felt there was more we could be doing to support those looking at how to bring this issue under control.
“We know single knives are the most common knife products to be stolen and that is why we have chosen to remove these items from our stores. This is an issue that means a lot to our customers and to our colleagues, and we are committed to playing our small part in helping to make our communities safer for all.”
It will still be possible to buy knife sets but they will have greater security protection within stores.
A Home Office spokesperson said in response to the announcement: “We welcome this move by Asda to restrict access to knives in their stores.
“It is already illegal to sell knives to under 18s and retailers are playing their part in ensuring they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
“In addition our Offensive Weapons Bill will also introduce legislation that will make it harder than ever for young people to purchase knives.”