anti-homeless spikes
The 'anti-homeless spikes' seen outside Manchester's Selfridges storeChange.org

Selfridges has agreed to remove the so-called "anti homeless spikes" outside their Manchester store following complaints they are inhumane.

The retailer were criticised for installing the metal studs outside the Manchester city centre store last year, with more than 10,000 people signing an e-petition demanding they be removed.

The spikes were similar to those which were seen outside a block of luxury flats in London and a branch of Tesco in the capital's West end last year.

Selfridges insisted the spikes were not placed there to deter homeless people from sleeping outside the building, but were installed as part of a number of measures to reduce litter and smoking outside the store's team entrance.

The department store has now confirmed they will be removing the studs and insisted they never intended to cause any offence.

A spokesperson told IBTimesUK: "As a business Selfridges cares a great deal about its local community – we employ over 1,500 team members in Manchester and as such are involved in a number of local and charitable initiatives.

homeless spikes
Similiar spikes were seen outside a Tesco in Regent Street and a block of flats in SouthwarkGetty

"We have reached out to those whom have expressed concern on this issue and the store manager at Selfridges Exchange has met with Councillor Pat Karney. We have now made the decision to remove the studs and look at alternative designs to address the issue of smoking and littering by the side entrance of the store."

Selfridges added a date for when the spikes will be removed will be decided at a later date.

Commenting on the decision, Cathy Urquhart, who set up the change.org petition, added: "We are delighted to hear that Selfridges have decided to remove these spikes. A number of their customers will be pleased that they can go back to shopping there.

"We hope that the spikes will be removed promptly, and urge Selfridges Manchester to partner with homeless charities in the city, while looking for more positive solutions to smoking and litter outside their store.

"We are very grateful to Selfridges for taking prompt action on these spikes, listening to the concerns put forward by the public, and being serious about corporate social responsibility."

Urquhart said she is now calling on Manchester City Council to enforce a city wide ban on the spikes after her petition helped reveal a "massive Mancunian concern".