Mum ‘Appalled And Offended’ After Being Told She Couldn’t Push Toddlers Around John Lewis In A Shopping Trolley

A mum says she feels ‘discriminated against’ after she was stopped from pushing her toddlers around John Lewis in a shopping trolley.

Liz Al-Salim had taken her children into the Cheadle store inside a trolley from the neighbouring Sainsbury’s which is under the same roof.

But after spending around 10 minutes in the shop, she was approached by a member of staff and told the shopping trolley was not allowed due to ‘health and safety’.

The staff member told her she could bring a buggy inside, but Liz says she wouldn’t have been able to fit her shopping inside it, along with sons Noah, three, and Rex, two.

Feeling ‘appalled and offended’ Liz paid for the items she’d had time to get and left.

Liz Al-Salim with sons Noah and Rex
After calling customer services from outside the shop just after yesterday’s incident, she has since sent a formal written complaint.
Sharing details of the incident in a post on Facebook, she said: “If shopping trolleys are a ‘health and safety’ issue, then why are they used nationwide, globally in fact for people to use to buy more than one item? THEY ARE AN ESSENTIAL for mothers with children to go shopping. Today showed that without this ‘tool’, my shopping trip was a hopeless waste of time for me and my children.”

Speaking to the M.E.N’s Manchester Family , Liz, from Wilmslow, said: “I’d been in there a while when she came up to me and said I wasn’t allowed to use it.

“To just say ‘it’s health and safety’ without any explanation is not good enough. And she didn’t offer any solution at all apart from telling me I could use a buggy.

“In this day and age where more and more people are going online to do their shopping, the in-store experience is more important than ever before.

“We have just relocated from London, but I worked in retail there for a long time and if I thought one of my customers felt the way they made me feel then I’d be devastated.”

Liz, 43, had a gift card to spend and wanted to pick up some last minute items for Christmas, but completely forgot about the card as she was rushing to pay and get out of the place with her increasingly distressed children.

“It’s not easy going shopping with children anyway – sometimes you find yourself sitting in the car, taking a deep breath and thinking ‘is it really worth it?’,” she said.

“Once in there they were fine – a little squished in the trolley but they were happy enough with one carrying a storage box and the other a train.

“I went in there with the intention of spending around £200 for Christmas as a one stop shop to get what we needed. I love John Lewis, I’ve shopped there all my life and I know the standard of the produce.

“We only had about a two-hour time frame to get back home and it was all just so abrupt the way they came up to me and offered no solution whatsoever.”

Liz with her boys
John Lewis came under fire last month after parents shamed the retailer for failing to provide changing areas for disabled children – forcing them to change their kids on the floor.

Mum Laura Moore shared a photo of a young girl on the floor of a toilet cubicle in John Lewis to highlight what many families and carers are having to do.

She criticised the retailer for spending so much on its Christmas advert, but refusing to spend any money to put Changing Places​ toilets in their stores.

It’s a sentiment mum-of-two Liz agrees with.

She said: “When I was in there an elderly woman fainted near the tills and staff were wonderful with her and a first aider came over to help.

“But compassion needs to be shown to everyone. I feel offended and really discriminated against as a mum who was just trying to get through the day with two children with as few a hurdles as possible.

“Maybe next year John Lewis spend less on your TV adverts and more on your customer service training.”

Liz used the Sainsbury’s trolley to take her sons into John Lewis
In a statement John Lewis said: “We’re really sorry that Liz Al-Salim was disappointed with the service she received.

“We appreciate that it can be difficult to shop with small children which is why a partner offered her a double buggy and explained that if she used our Customer Collection service she could pick up her shopping by car later the same day.

“We cannot permit supermarket trolleys into our stores as they’re not designed for the aisles of our department stores and pose a health and safety risk. The trolleys are also the property of Sainsbury’s.”