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'Asda staff called my son fat', mum claims

Reece with his mum Louise. Credit: MEN syndication

A mum has slammed Asda bosses after a staff member reportedly called her eight-year-old son "fat".

Louise Walker was shopping at the supermarket’s Living outlet at Manchester Fort Shopping Park in Cheetham Hill when an assistant apparently criticised her son Reece Stevenson for being overweight.

The pair, from Cheetwood in Salford, visited the store on a sunny day to buy a paddling pool.

Louise, 31, said Reece excitedly ran ahead onto an escalator, past a shop worker.

She said she heard the assistant - who didn’t see her - then call Reece "fat" out loud.

Louise approached the worker, who denied talking about Reece, before complaining to a supervisor.

She said head office bosses later offered her a £10 gift card by way of apology for the incident which took place on Friday July 29.

Louise said Reece, who is "sensitive’"about his weight, didn’t hear the shop assistant call him fat, but heard his mum talking to a supervisor later about it.

Heartbroken, he asked her:

Why did they say that? I can’t help it.

– Reece Walker
Credit: PA

Louise told Manchester Evening News:

The worker didn’t see me walking behind, and thought no-one had heard - but I did.

I couldn’t believe it. I was absolutely fuming, I was disgusted.

I confronted the worker who claimed they were talking about a woman - another customer - but there was nobody else near at the time.

I had to walk to the other side of the store to calm down, I was furious. I heard the worker later admitted what they had said to the store manager.

Reece isn’t fat - he’s short and stocky and he’s only young. But he is sensitive about his weight.

A £10 gift card is a joke. It isn’t any sort of compensation considering what happened. It was really personal and not nice at all.

– Louise Walker

Asda said they did offer Reece a gift card to say sorry, but it was more than £10.

A spokeswoman would not comment on whether the member of staff had been disciplined, but added:

We are very sorry for any distress this situation has caused to Ms Walker and her son and are investigating what happened.

Our colleagues in store have apologised directly to Reece and offered a goodwill gesture to go some way towards making up for any upset caused.

We would also like to invite Ms Walker back into store to discuss the matter further.

– Asda spokesperson