The Lidl cashier refused to sell Jackie Chandler, 41, and her husband Gary Sprake, 43, a bottle of pink gin because their eldest daughter Ella-May, 14, did not have ID
A married couple were stunned when a cashier at Lidl refused to sell them a bottle of rhubarb gin – because they were shopping with their 11 and 14-year-old daughters.
Jackie Chandler and her husband Gary Sprake were at the till ready to pay for their groceries when the worker halted them to ask their eldest daughter Ella-May for ID.
The baffled couple thought the Lidl cashier was joking, however their disbelief was compounded when the disagreement resulted in a store manager calling police to escort the family from the shop.
Mrs Chandler, 41, and Mr Sprake, 43, said when the officer arrived at Lidl he ‘couldn’t believe he’d been called out’ as the couple ‘didn’t do anything wrong’.
Mr Sprake even tried to buy the £11.99 Hortus rhubarb and ginger gin liqueur on his own at another till – but was again refused by staff citing their ‘ridiculous’ ID policy.
The couple had been shopping at Lidl in Waterlooville, Hants, with 14-year-old Ella-May and 11-year-old Rosa-May.
They decided to pick up a bottle of the gin as they were later visiting a friend’s house for a drinks party.
The tipple, typically pink in colour, has seen a boom in popularity recently as gin-lovers explore different variations of their favourite drink.
When the couple, who both work in retail, told the cashier they ‘would never let her sip alcohol’, he replied ‘it doesn’t make any difference, she has to have ID as well’.
A manager was then called to deal with the situation and when he backed the cashier, Mr Sprake then attempted to phone Lidl’s head office.
The family were left bemused when the manager then asked them to leave the store before phoning the police.
Mrs Chandler said: “We were shocked when the cashier asked because we thought he was talking about us. But when we found out he meant our daughter, I thought ‘he cannot be serious’.
“There is no way we would let her take a sip of alcohol, let alone buy a bottle.”
Mr Sprake said he and his wife were ‘victims of stupidity’. He said: “Lidl should be ashamed of themselves.
“I wonder where the line on this policy is drawn. If I had a four-year-old, would I not be able to get a drink?
“And if I do go back to that store, which is unlikely, will I not be able to buy alcohol because they know I have a daughter?”
He added: “The whole thing is ridiculous.”
During the row, a customer irate at having to wait longer even threatened them with a citizen’s arrest.
Mrs Chandler said: “There was already a wait to get to the till so people weren’t happy.
“A couple of other shoppers were telling us to move on and one even offered to make a citizen’s arrest on us.”
Mrs Chandler said: “The police officer I spoke to couldn’t believe he’d been called out – we weren’t doing anything wrong.
“We joked because it must’ve been his easiest job of the day.”
After leaving the store without their shopping, Mrs Chandler says she will not return as she is ‘too embarrassed’ and her children are ‘worried as they feel like they did something wrong’.
A Lidl spokesman defended the store’s ID policy.
He said: “It is never our intention for a customer to be dissatisfied in any way, however we are committed to selling alcohol responsibly.
“Whilst these actions may appear over-cautious, we support our colleagues in using their own judgement to uphold our ‘Think 25’ policy and, where there is any element of doubt, making the right decision.
“Under no circumstances do we tolerate abusive behaviour towards our colleagues.”
Hampshire Constabulary confirmed they were called to the ‘ongoing dispute’ at the Lidl store.