Britain’s Tesco Adopts America’s Folly


There are two Tesco news stories making the rounds. In the first, a Tesco in Cardiff, Wales put up a sign requiring that their customers not wear pyjamas and that they must wear shoes. The sign read:

To avoid causing embarrassment to others we ask that our customers are appropriately dressed when visiting our store (footwear must be worn at all times and no nightwear is permitted)

How the heck does that cause embarrassment to others? It’s not like pyjamas don’t cover what needs to be covered—it’s just looser than other clothing (and, on some people, probably looks a lot better than tight-fitting clothing). And how are people embarrassed by seeing bare feet?

In the second story, a barefooted man, Dave Richards, was tossed from a Derbyshire Tesco. He’d been going barefoot there for eight years, but they suddenly implemented the policy. It’s not clear just what Tesco‘s official response is. On the one hand, the story says that Tesco has no national policy on footwear, but then they also say that other customers expect to see other customers wearing footwear. There is other coverage of the story here, and, for a local Derbyshire newspaper, here.

Mr. Davis, quite intelligently, now shops at a Co-op store in Castle Donington.

Another thing that is interesting about this story is that it is a story at all. In the U.S., such behavior by a store is so common that it is simply not newsworthy. Britain, however, never seemed to have had the coterie of busybodies that the U.S. does, and folks there are much better (with their “British reserve”, I guess) at not intruding into other peoples’ lives. Unfortunately, it now appears that they are starting to get infected by this American disease.

It’s also a real laugh to read some of the comments attached to the stories:

I think if he signs a waiver not to sue them if some idiot runs over his tootsies with a trolly or a tin of beans falls off a shelf splatting his foot to the floor then he should be OK.

Do these people even understand simple logic? A pair of flip-flops would presumably be OK, yet they don’t protect the foot from either being run over with a “trolly” or having cans fall over them. Where is the call to ban flip-flops, or sandals of any kind?

I’m afraid, as usual, that this is just folks thinking that their way of doing things is God-ordained, and that anything different runs against the natural order of things.


11 Responses to “Britain’s Tesco Adopts America’s Folly”

  1. Pete Hummers Says:

    “Mr. Davis, quite intelligently, now shops at a Co-op store in Castle Donington.”

    Now that’s what I call voting with your feet! =)

  2. Beach Bum Says:

    Did anyone respond to their lack of logic and tell them that what they said makes no sense? Though usually in those comments sections of such things, it does little good, since people tend to post something really quickly, and then move on, often never going back to that same article and comments section. And very little in the way of ‘discussion’ actually takes place, people just comment and ignore factual information posted just 2 comments before them, and all you get is constant repetition. And few will actually read all the posts before commenting, so they can make an intelligent comment based on what others are saying.

  3. Anemone Says:

    It’s not about logic. It never is. *sigh*

    I found a story on a forum about a barefoot woman who was challenged when she went to her regular store, because they’d had gypsies stealing things and started banning bare feet to keep the gypsies out. She showed the store manager how much money she spent there every year and he changed his mind.

    Sometimes it’s just prejudice against “poor people”. I wonder if wearing silk pajamas would make any difference.

  4. Anemone Says:

    On a sort of related issue, does anyone know of a barefoot-friendly podiatrist in the Vancouver Canada area? I need a medical certificate for my court case, and if people could spread the word, I’d really appreciate it. My GP, who is from England and ought to know better, thinks people ought to wear shoes, and that if I just keep trying . . . I’m at acerridwen (at) telus (dot) net

  5. Bob Neinast Says:

    I don’t know if he would be willing to do anything, but Dr. Nirenberg, of the America’s Podiatrist website, does seem to be quite sympathetic and knowledgeable.

    However, he does seem to be quite a distance away from you.

  6. Anemone Says:

    I already added a comment on his website. I’m just trying all I can think of right now.

  7. Beach Bum Says:

    Yes, Anemone, just replace the word “Gypsy” with the word ‘Hippie”, and you get the primary reason why those anti-barefoot signs started going up in the US during the late 1960s.

  8. Nelipot Says:

    Dr. Ray McClanahan in Portland, Oregan is a strong advocate of barefooting.

  9. Anemone Says:

    Nelipot, thank you. That is a great website!

  10. Dave Says:

    I live in cardiff and I find that the majority of people who turn up in pyjamas with bare feet are students who wander in the early hours of the morning and are extremely intoxicated i thin the new rule is more likely aimed at them.

  11. Tez Says:

    I got refused entry into the Ryde Tesco today for not wearing shoes.I was told that they’d had complaints from customers!
    I wonder if there’s a case for my “human rights”?haha

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