Asda orders carer to leave store telling him ‘we do not like the way you shop’

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A carer has been left stunned after being told to get out of Asda because the staff didn’t like the way he shopped.

Matthew Scholes says he felt humiliated after visiting the Asda store to do his weekly shop after working a 12-hour shift at a care home.

The 49-year-old claims he didn’t do anything wrong but was still followed by a member of staff who was carrying a clipboard.

When he reached the drinks aisle and picked up a bottle of alcohol a female shop-worker approached Matthew and told him “We have seen you in here before” and “I want you to leave the store right now”.

The carer, who has worked in the industry throughout the pandemic, said he tried to reason with the Asda worker but she kept repeating herself and wouldn’t accept his innocent claims.



Matthew was utterly shocked by the whole incident and says he won't be back in Asda
Matthew was utterly shocked by the whole incident and says he won’t be back in Asda

Matthew left the Thornaby store after putting back his basket but then says he contacted the retailer about the incident and was left stunned by their response.

An email sent to him by ASDA Executive Relations said: “I have spoken to the store leadership team who have informed me they do not like the way you shop. I appreciate this may not be the response you were looking for and I am sorry for any disappointment this may cause.”

The company says that their colleagues can ask shoppers to leave if they suspect them of “suspicious shopping behaviour”, according to Teesside Live.

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Matthew, who works at Victoria House Care Home in Stockton, said: “I feel discriminated against and humiliated. I picked up a bottle of Ouzo and, at that point with a bottle in my hand, the woman said ‘can I have a word? I want you to leave the shop right now’.

“I said ‘what’s going on I haven’t done anything wrong, I haven’t stolen anything’. She was repeating herself over and over again like a parrot. The only other thing she said was ‘we have seen you in here before’. I was just so stunned. After the fifth time she said leave the store I had no choice but to put my basket down and leave the store.

“The email said they have had a word with the team and they don’t like the way I shop and that’s it! It’s ridiculous, there’s no explanation. I have not done anything differently, I have just shopped the way I have always shopped.”

Matthew said he has been employed in the care industry for more than 30 years and has worked through the coronavirus pandemic. He said the incident occurred while he was visiting the supermarket on Allensway on Saturday, March 5.

Matthew said he was placing food and drink items, such as cheese and energy drinks, into his basket before he was approached. He said he has been racking his brains all week to try and understand what the company meant by their response to him.

The care worker said: “My coat was open and I had a baseball cap on. I wasn’t acting suspicious, it just makes no sense. I’m baffled. If they have seen something in my manner and the way I do my shopping, I was completely oblivious to it.

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“I made a point of saying ‘I’m a key worker during the pandemic’. I thought that may show my character but obviously it didn’t do any good.”

Matthew said the incident has had a negative impact on his work and has left him constantly checking to see if anyone is looking at him when he visits other supermarkets.

He added: “It is just wrong. I have been shopping there since that store became ASDA. Even when Aldi and Lidl opened I stayed loyal to ASDA. The other morning I went to Aldi, I thought I’m done with ASDA now. I have told a number of people and they are just as surprised and stunned. My family aren’t going to shop in ASDA anymore.”

A spokesperson for ASDA said: “Whilst asking a customer to leave is always a last resort, if our colleagues suspect any customers of suspicious shopping behavior then they can ask them to leave the store.”

Teesside Live asked the company if they had contacted the police but the store did not comment.

Matthew told Teesside Live: “I’m a full time worker, I have got no reason to steal. I have always paid for my goods. I have tried to get the message across that I’m a genuine person and I have never had problems shopping before.

“That is disgusting, it’s a bad case of mistaken identity. I’m shocked about the whole thing. I’m glad I’m not going in there anymore if they are going to treat people like that.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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