A British 69-year-old great-grandmother was ordered to take off her hood in the interest of safety.
Barbara Francis of Ashton, near Preston, Lancashire, was in Tesco Express, when she was told by a staff member to remove her fur-lined hood. Francis said: "It was raining outside, so I had my jacket hood on.”
Then, when Francis was in the aisle shopping, someone came up to her. She turned around and a man asked her to remove her hood. When Francis asked why she had to remove her hood, the man said it was company policy.
“I asked if he was joking and he told me that he was not,” Francis said. “Then I said ‘look at me I'm a retired 69-year-old woman, am I a danger?’"
Tesco said that it does not have a company policy of removing hoods and helmets, but they rely on the discretion of managers in individual stores to keep the place safe. It is understood that staff were being cautious after a recent burglary at a nearby Co-op.
Francis, who has two grandchildren and a seven-month-old granddaughter, was so upset over the incident that she vowed never to return to Tesco. “I only went for a little Quaker Oats and needless to say I left without them. I was so upset,” Francis said.
A spokesman for Tesco said: “The safety of our colleagues and customers is a priority for Tesco, which is why in some stores customers are asked to remove their hats and hoods while shopping. However, we try to take a common sense approach to this request and use discretion in deciding whether to enforce it.”