Grand Theft Auto
A screenshot from the new gen version of GTA Online.Rockstar Games

Retail chain Target has pulled Grand Theft Auto 5 from sale in its Australian stores due to concerns over "the game's depictions of violence against women".

"We've been speaking to many customers over recent days about the game, and there is a significant level of concern about the game's content," said Target's general manager of corporate affairs Jim Cooper in a press release.

"We've also had customer feedback in support of us selling the game, and we respect their perspective on the issue. However, we feel the decision to stop selling GTA5 is in line with the majority view of our customers."

Cooper said that Target would continue to sell other R-rated films and video games.

"While these products often contain imagery that some customers find offensive, in the vast majority of cases, we believe they are appropriate products for us to sell to adult customers," he continued. "However, in the case of GTA 5, we have listened to the strong feedback from customers that his is not a product they want us to sell."

Developers Rockstar Games and publisher Take Two won't lose much sleep over the decision, having shifted enough copies of the game across PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the recently released new gen versions on PS4 and Xbox One, to purchase a chain of small islands.

In the UK it has become the best-selling video game of all time.