Shoppers are outraged over a little-known Aldi checkout rule – but do you agree?

Shoppers are outraged over a little-known checkout rule at Aldi – but do you agree?

  • An Aldi checkout rule prevents adults buying alcohol while shopping with kids
  • A mother posted on the store’s Facebook page, calling it unfair for single parents
  • She called for ‘discretion and commonsense’ when applying the rule 
  • Other parents agreed, with one woman branding the rule ‘ridiculous’
  • In September a NSW mum was refused because of her two teenage children

A little-known Aldi checkout rule prevents adults from buying alcohol if they are shopping with children – and customers aren’t impressed.

Debate has been raging since a mother posted on the supermarket’s Facebook page last week, calling it unfair for single parents and asking for shoppers to be treated on a case by case basis rather than being hit with a blanket ban.

‘Parents shopping with children are not allowed to purchase alcohol?’ she wrote. 

‘There needs to be some discretion and commonsense when applying this rule. A parent with a small child is hardly purchasing alcohol to supply it to their child.’

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Aldi shoppers have slammed the supermarket's checkout rule which prevents parents from buying alcohol if they are accompanied by children (stock image)

Aldi shoppers have slammed the supermarket’s checkout rule which prevents parents from buying alcohol if they are accompanied by children (stock image)

Dozens agreed, with many branding it indirect discrimination against single parent households.

‘Too bad if you’re a single parent with kids…guess you take your business elsewhere,’ one woman said.

‘This is a ridiculous rule that discriminates against parents. You can buy alcohol with kids there and have no intention of giving them any,’ said another.

Others were incredulous and demanded to know when the policy had been brought in.

‘Since when is this a rule?? I’ve always purchased at Aldi while doing weekly grocery shop and also purchased at bottle shops with children?’ one woman said.

‘Is this a new thing? Sounds ridiculous.’

Aldi responded to the the original poster, saying they apologise for inconvenience but under the terms of the Responsible Service of Alcohol, they can decline to sell wine and beer to a customer if they are accompanied by a minor.

The German-owned retail chain added that it always ‘errs on the side of caution’.

In September, a New South Wales mother was left mortified after a cashier refused to sell her a bottle of red wine because she had her two teenage children in tow. 

The mother claimed she was queuing up to pay for her groceries, which included alcohol, when the cashier called a manager to ask whether she could serve her as she was shopping with her school children. 

‘While waiting in line, I grabbed a bottle of alcohol to purchase, the cashier said she needed to check with her manager if she could sell the alcohol as I have two children in uniform,’ the woman wrote in a Facebook group.

The manager said it was at the cashier’s discretion if she could allow the mother to buy the wine.

Ultimately the mother was permitted to buy the wine but claimed she was left red-faced because the incident happened in front of her kids and other shoppers.

‘She allowed me to purchase it but at the same time I felt embarrassed as people were looking at me like I’m some bad parent,’ the mother said.

‘And no, my kids did not handle the alcohol at anytime.’

In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, an Aldi Australia spokesperson said it is the store’s responsibility to ban customers who are shopping with kids from buying alcohol if they suspect the adult is supplying the drink to minors. 

Under the terms of the Responsible Service of Alcohol, licensed supermarkets can decline to sell wine and beer to a customer if they are accompanied by a minor (stock image)

Under the terms of the Responsible Service of Alcohol, licensed supermarkets can decline to sell wine and beer to a customer if they are accompanied by a minor (stock image)

Full statement from Aldi Australia 

In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, an Aldi Australia spokesperson said: 

As a responsible retailer, ALDI Australia supports and adheres to all regulations for the purchase of alcohol including Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA). Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 it is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 and for a person under the age of 18 to purchase or receive alcohol.

The sale of alcohol can be refused if a minor has handled alcohol that could be potentially purchased by an adult for the minor’s consumption. This also extends to a minor accompanying an adult purchasing alcohol, even if the minor has not physically touched an alcoholic product. It is the store’s responsibility to refuse any customer who presents a risk and ultimately it is at the discretion of the person serving to decline the sale should they have any doubts or concerns.

There are severe consequences for breaching laws and policies set in place by the Australian government involving the sale of alcohol. As such ALDI faces heavy penalties should we sell alcohol to any customer who supplies to a person under the age of 18.

‘The sale of alcohol can be refused if a minor has handled alcohol that could be potentially purchased by an adult for the minor’s consumption,’ the spokesperson said.

‘This also extends to a minor accompanying an adult purchasing alcohol, even if the minor has not physically touched an alcoholic product.

‘It is the store’s responsibility to refuse any customer who presents a risk and ultimately it is at the discretion of the person serving to decline the sale should they have any doubts or concerns.’

According to Liquor and Gaming NSW, it is unlawful to buy or obtain alcohol on behalf of a minor on licensed premises. Adults can face fines of up to $11,000 and/or 12 months behind bars if convicted of underage alcohol supply offences.  

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