Coffee giving shop's storm in a teacup

A BARRY supermarket has said all shoppers are welcome in store after a woman complained its free coffee deal was putting her off.

The Facebook user turned to Waitrose’s site to comment that the offer, available with the myWaitrose loyalty card without the need to purchase, was attracting the wrong type of customer at the high-end store.

Angry shoppers took to Facebook and Twitter to complain that Waitrose was turning into a soup kitchen with stores packed with less affluent customers, which was putting some customers off.

She wrote on the supermarket's page: "Please stop the free coffee at Barry Waitrose, it is putting me off shopping in the store, people are coming with two cards, two free coffees, no shopping, with their supermarket bags.

"I think seeing people walking round the store holding on to takeaway cups of tea and coffee looks quite ridiculous and brings down the image of Waitrose until it is just like everywhere else – in which case I might as well shop anywhere else."

A Waitrose spokesman said all customers were welcome in the Barry store.

He said: “The myWaitrose card is designed as a way of rewarding our established, loyal Waitrose customers as they shop - and the free cup of tea or coffee is something our customers across the country told us they would really like.

“The reason people come to Waitrose is to do their grocery shopping. The vast majority of customers who enjoy a free tea or coffee are on a shopping trip to Waitrose at the time.

“The offer is just one of a number of myWaitrose card promotions available to customers when purchasing products at Waitrose.”

Others include promotions on categories and specific products, discount at the Waitrose Cookery School, a free copy of Waitrose Kitchen magazine and personalised offers through the post.

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