Mum says she will boycott Waitrose after staff identify her over a bottle of wine

Abigail Pritchard was'humiliated' by the experience (Image: Abigail Pritchard/Wessex News Agency)

Abigail Pritchard was ‘humiliated’ by the experience (Image: Abigail Pritchard/Wessex News Agency)

A Stroud mum was outraged after being asked for ID in Waitrose.

Abigail Pritchard, 60, was challenged when she tried to buy two bottles of red wine and three bottles of beer alongside ingredients for a Sunday roast.

She was shopping with her 23-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter when they were stopped from buying the alcohol on November 20.

Abigail told Stroud News: “My daughter, 16, came along to help and bought some Fanta.

“She waited outside the alcohol department while I got the wine but on check out I was shocked to be asked for ID – I’m 60 years old – and they also asked for my daughter’s ID.

“We were then surrounded by staff and humiliated in front of the entire store as they refused me to sell alcohol, saying it was a legal requirement.

“I think it’s obvious to everyone that expensive wine bought by a 60-year-old woman and her daughter for a Sunday lunch is unlikely to be a proxy sale.

“It was a case of a Jobsworth wanting to exercise some sense of power over me, enjoying humiliation in front of our local community.”


Abigail and her family shopping at Waitrose’s Stroud store (Image: Google Maps)

Although Abigail has been shopping at the store for more than 20 years, she has vowed not to return.

She added: “I now have to go further afield for my weekly groceries as I can no longer show my face in this store.

“If I bought vodka and alcopops and nothing else, I might be more understanding. But that seemed totally unreasonable and destined to belittle me and disrupt my day.’

After being denied the wine for sale in Waitrose, the family went to Tesco where they were able to buy the same items with no problem.

A Waitrose spokesman said: “We have apologized to Mrs Pritchard for the upset caused.

“As with any retailer, if one of our cashiers believes there may be alcohol being purchased for an underage person, they are always encouraged to take the precautionary step of checking both customers’ IDs.”

A similar situation faced a Lancashire mum, who admitted she “made a little scene” after being refused alcohol at Aldi.

Kelly Marsh, 35, shopped for toilet paper, tea and Halloween decorations with her children in October.

Kelly Marsh, from Warton, who was refused a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale while shopping with her teenage daughters at Aldi in Buckshaw Village, Lancashire, despite being 35 and showing her ID.

Kelly Marsh, from Warton, who was denied a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale while shopping with her teenage daughters (Image: Lancs Live/MEN Media)

She also put bottles of lager in her basket but ran into a problem when she reached the checkout at Aldi’s Buckshaw Village store.

The 35-year-old was told she couldn’t buy her alcohol, which included Newcastle Brown Ale, because she looked like her children’s ‘pal’.

Kelly was told daughter Courtney, 17, and Bethany, 15, would need to show ID before she could buy the alcohol.

She said: “For me it’s the same principle no matter how old the kids are. If you have a single mom who looks young like me what will she do?

“As a 35-year-old woman, there’s nothing I can’t buy. The only time I’m not allowed to go shopping with my children is.”

Kelly also defended the purchase of Newcastle Brown Ale, adding: “It’s a gentleman’s drink, it’s not something kids would drink in a park.”

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Justin Scacco

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