Tesco bans barefoot shoppers from stores

By Rosa Silverman,Press Association
Wednesday 03 February 2010 15:10

A man has been refused entry to Tesco after attempting to shop barefoot in its stores.

Video artist Dave Richards, 47, who has gone without shoes for the past seven years, was turned away by several branches of the supermarket chain.

Last week it emerged that customers at a Tesco store in Cardiff had been banned from shopping barefoot or in their pyjamas.

The dress code was introduced at the St Mellons store because a minority of customers had been visiting in their nightwear, prompting complaints from others.

Mr Richards, from Castle Donington, Derby, said he had written to Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy to ask him why he could not shop barefoot.

The supermarket's customer services department told him it might offend people, he said.

"No other supermarket has ever kicked me out for going barefoot," he said. "But about half a dozen Tesco stores up and down the country have objected to it."

Tesco said it had no national policy on footwear in its stores.

A spokesman said: "Most of our customers would expect to see other customers wearing some kind of footwear.

"However, if for a medical reason he can't wear shoes or any other footwear, we would be more than happy to sit down and discuss the issue."

Mr Richards stopped wearing shoes to cure a limp caused by a broken leg. He enjoyed going barefoot so much that he never looked back.

Since then he has gone barefoot on the London Underground, to funerals and to music concerts.

"I've stood on glass and had thorns in my feet but none of that has put me off," he said.

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