A city centre department store was evacuated when a faulty security tag making a loud ticking sound was mistaken for a bomb. An employee at John Lewis in Liverpool raised the alarm after finding the electronic tag at 10:00am on Saturday.
A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "A staff member wrapped and taped the tag up to muffle the noise but had not notified colleagues what it was or why it was there. The object was found to be an electronic security tag which had been malfunctioning and emitting a loud ticking sound," they said.
"When the item was discovered its appearance and sound caused concerns and a staff member alerted emergency services and self-evacuated the store. The device was established as being safe and no further action was necessary."
A John Lewis spokesman said: "A broken electronic security device which had been wrapped up was mistaken for a suspicious item, and the team followed our robust security measures by calling the police."
The shop was closed for about four hours.
Nearby roads were closed and buses were diverted.