Woman called ‘f**king Jew’ after asking Waitrose shopper to wear facemask

Emma Bloom speaks of ‘shock’ and accuses supermarket of failing to intervene over abuse


RUSHDEN, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Shoppers queue using safe distance measures at Waitrose supermarket on April 22, 2020 in Rushden, England. The British government has extended the lockdown restrictions first introduced on March 23 that are meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A Waitrose customer has accused the supermarket giant of failing to act after she was allegedly racially abused by an unmasked shopper at a branch in north London.

Emma Bloom, 46, from Hendon, said she confronted the person for not wearing a face covering and for jumping the queue into the Mill Hill East store.

The woman, who she said appeared to be in her 60s, had by this stage come closer to her. 

“That’s when she turned around and goes ‘f**k off, you f**king Jew. Go back to where you came from, you c***.’”

“I was in shock. I couldn't believe it,” Ms Bloom said, adding that she asked customer services to intervene but was told to “walk away”. 

Ms Bloom said she then dialled 999 but was told the incident was not a police matter. 

When approached by the JC on Friday, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police urged Ms Bloom to report the incident online. “That would be unlikely to amount to an investigation in respect of close contact / unmasked etc, but an allegation of racial abuse ought to be recorded,” the force said.

Ms Bloom said she felt "very vulnerable walking around the aisles” and kept seeing the other customer. 

She encountered her again while at the checkout line. “She started calling me a c*nt again and said ‘keep the mask on, I bet you’re so ugly behind that mask.’” A store manager ordered both customers to be quiet, she said. 

Ms Bloom said she had not returned to the branch since the incident and that she contacted the chain twice to demand an apology. 

“I do feel absolutely victimised. I’ve never felt like this before. I felt horribly alone, and that’s why I can’t let it go. It’s keeping me awake.”

After publication, a Waitrose spokesperson told the JC: "We are very sorry to hear about this. We do not tolerate any sort of discrimination. Any customer who is found to discriminate against a member of staff or another customer will be banned.

"We are also now taking a more robust approach to mask wearing and customers must wear a mask when they are in our shops unless they are exempt.  We will refuse entry to those who do not comply. Once again, we are very sorry to learn about the customer's experience."

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