Group says sorry in row over serving soldier

The Co-operative Group found itself at the centre of a media storm after it was revealed that a soldier who had just returned from duty in Afghanistan was...

Due to a misunderstanding by store staff, 27-year-old Sapper Anthony Walls of 21 Engineer Regiment, had to leave empty handed after being told by the cashier and her supervisor that it was the Group’s policy not to serve soldiers in combat gear.

A brief statement issued by the Group said: “This was a genuine mistake on the part of our two members of staff. We have apologised to the soldier in question and hope to welcome him back to the store. We do not have a policy that states that when wearing uniform, members of the armed forces should not be served alcohol or cigarettes and are all welcome in our stores.”

However the apology failed to prevent a deluge of hostile coverage in the national tabloids. The Daily Mirror, Daily Star and Daily Mail all gave the incident  huge prominence with the Mirror stating in an editorial that the Group should have sent Sapper Walls, who is now back in Afghanistan, a crate of beer to compensate for the blunder.

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