Shopper vows to never enter Home Bargains after store’s email

A customer has vowed to 'never shop at Home Bargains again' after a row erupted over its face mask in store policy.

The shopper, who wished only to be called by his first name Paul, was shopping at the Park Way Home Bargains store in Prescot last Thursday (6, August) when he saw that "just under half of the shoppers in the store were wearing masks".

He claims that upon his visit members of staff did nothing to speak to customers, who were shopping without a face covering, which was made compulsory in England on 24 July.

The legislation allows police to fine people up to £100 for failing to comply with the new rules, which are aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.

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After shopping at the store Paul said he contacted Home Bargains to complain but says was 'perplexed' by the response he received, seen by the ECHO, which states that store policy is "not to challenge anyone not wearing a face mask".

Speaking to the ECHO, Paul said: "I just went into the big Prescot Home Bargains to grab a few bits and I came across quite a few people who weren't wearing any form of face covering.

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"I understand that people can forget to bring them but I couldn't believe that no staff or management were raising the issue with the customers or challenging them.

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"While I was in the shop I must have spotted 8-10 people without masks on. Okay, some of them might have had medical conditions but I doubt that would apply to all of them."

In an email, in response to Paul a spokesperson for Home Bargains said it was an "extremely challenging time for the retail sector."

The spokesperson added: "As front line, key workers, our store staff are working extremely hard to ensure the stores can continually provide customers with the essential items they need.

"We trust all individuals will take any necessary precautions to keep themselves and others around them safe. Our policy is not to challenge anyone not wearing a face covering."

However Paul believes Home Bargains' statement that their policy was "aligned to the current legal requirements" was wrong.

He added: "Their response to my complaint is incorrect and that isn't how the guidance works.

"I find it really worrying that the store isn't even trying to enforce the face covering policy.

"Most people are trying to do the right thing. This isn't about me, it's about protecting the most vulnerable people in society.

"I think it's just totally disrespectful to its customers.

"I'll never use the shop again, B&M can have my money."

A spokesperson for Home Bargains told the ECHO : "We are absolutely aligned to the current legal requirements with respect to the wearing of face coverings and, where mandatory within the UK, we would ask all customers to follow this unless they have a health condition that exempts them."

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