Leading grocery chain Tesco has rejected claims of racism following news that the supermarket sold a black doll cheaper than a white doll.
The Sun has reported that an alarmed customer visiting their local Tesco branch in Dudley West Midlands noticed there was nearly £1 price difference between the black ‘My Beautiful Baby’ doll, which retailed at £4.97, and the white My Lovely baby doll which had a price tag of £5.96 in the store.
This discovery was made when the mother was shopping for a toy to buy for her friend’s daughter in hospital.
Such controversy will be most unwelcome for the grocer, which recently announced plans to exit the Japanese market following poor sales with the chain incurring losses of £30 million.
There have also been suggestions that Tesco may have to pull out of its holdings in Fresh & Easy in America if there is not a reversal in fortune stateside for the business, while last month the retail giant announced a 1.4 per cent sales drop over the 91 days to May 26th 2012.
However, recently the chain announced that branches of Tesco Extra in England and Wales will stay open for a full 24 hours during the Olympic Games in the hopes of boosting trade.
A spokesperson for Tesco stated that the difference in the price of the two dolls was the result of an special introductory offer rather than an indication of the race of the child’s toy.
A spokesman for Tesco commented: “Emmi My Beautiful Baby” is new and introduced into our range just a few weeks back in response to customer demand.
“At present the product is being sold at an introductory price – the same introductory price as “Emmi My Lovely Baby” was sold at when it launched.”