A Cardiff Tesco store blocked sanitary items from being sold
This follows the ban of non-essential sales
Customers in a Tesco store in Cardiff have been left outraged upon discovering that the store had blocked the sales of sanitary products, something which is arguably essential to those who menstruate.
The Welsh Government has said that Tesco gave “false information” when they refused to sell sanitary items as an essential product. Many outraged shoppers turned to Twitter and Facebook for answers.
Due to the taxing of sanitary products, they can be classed as non-essential. However, after Tesco’s reply they will be sold in stores and are now deemed essential.
A Tesco representative tweeted in reply: “We understand how frustrating these changes will be for our Welsh customers. However, we have been told by the Welsh Government not to sell these products for the duration of the firebreak lockdown.” This has now since been deleted.
The Welsh government addressed the issue in the following tweet:
This is wrong – period products are essential.
Supermarkets can still sell items that can be sold in pharmacies.
Only selling essential items during firebreak is to discourage spending more time than necessary in shops. It should not stop you accessing items that you need. https://t.co/kIo5l5z2Zc
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) October 26, 2020
Tesco have now tweeted an apology to customers, in reply to a tweet complaining of the situation. The response from the supermarket chain states that they are “so sorry” that a store had “restricted” these items, and requests information regarding the individual store in question.
However, clearly sanitary products are an essential purchase and I'm so sorry to see that one of our stores has them restricted at the moment. Can you please DM us to let me know when you were in store and which store this was, so I can look in to this further. TY – Gary 2/2 https://t.co/py5Z991Bme
— Tesco (@Tesco) October 26, 2020
However, Tesco recently claimed that the aisle was in fact cordoned off due to a break-in at the store, which is being investigated by police, and not because sanitary products are deemed non-essential. The company has not given any further details of the break in and the aisle has now re-opened.
People are already outraged over the ban on sales of non-essential items, as many have argued that what is deemed essential is entirely subjective. Due to the distress that the issue surrounding sanitary products has caused, it seems likely that the Welsh Government will address the issue again in their Live Press Conference.
The Welsh Government noted that the selling of non-essential items is in place to discourage spending more time in a store. “It should not stop you accessing items that you need.”