The supermarket chain Asda will stop selling single kitchen knives in its stores by the end of April.
The decision comes at a time of rising concerns about knife crime in the UK.
Earlier this week, a senior police chief said the recent spate of deadly stabbings involving young people should be treated as a national emergency.
Nick Jones, the senior vice-president at Asda, 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.”
Asda was a founding signatory to the Home Office voluntary agreement, published in 2016, which prevented the sale of knives to under-18s and ensured knives were safely displayed and packaged.
In response to the announcement, a Home Office spokesperson said: “We welcome this move by Asda to restrict access to knives in their stores.”
It is illegal to sell knives to under-18s. The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and an unlimited fine.
“In addition, our offensive weapons bill will also introduce legislation that will make it harder than ever for young people to purchase knives,” the spokesperson said.