Following a shopping trip to Wembley Asda with his mother last Wednesday Alperton councillor, Anton Georgiou, wrote to the store on Christmas Eve to express his concern over the non-observance of Covid safety measures:
I was horrified by what was going on in your Wembley store yesterday afternoon. I understand this is a really busy time, though we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and we will only get through it if we all do everything possible to limit the spread of COVID. I would like to speak to the store manager ASAP as I wish to make a formal complaint.
Asked to elaborate on his concerns he said:
I was appalled at the lack of mask wearing by customers and staff, the fact that security and staff were not helpful when I was personally threatened for asking a customer behind me with[out] a mask to step back, I was threatened and verbally abused, there is little to no social distancing in store, anti bac is not available anywhere and the store is a mess.
Asda replied that they were sorry about Antons 'unpleasant experience' and had reported the feedback to the store manager for them to act on it and prevent it from happening again. Anton responded that he would like to speak to the manager and asked when this could be arranged.
Asda ignored the request saying that they could pass on any further comments. Anton then asked for a telephone conversation with the manager to 'discuss what exact measures the store will be putting in place to ensure the safety of residents I represent who use the store and others in Brent.'
Asda replied that as a result of the complaint the issue had been raised with the store manager. The issues raised had been taken seriously and the store would be revisiting the safety measures and initiatives outlined in a blog https://www.asda.com/shopping-safely-with-asda . 'Thanks again for raising your concerns with us and please be assured that this has been addressed and you should see an improvement going forwards.'
So no direct contact between a local councillor and the store manager was agreed.
Cllr Georgiou told Wembley Matters:
I was appalled at what I saw in Asda Wembley last Wednesday.
With Covid cases rising locally at an alarming rate, it is crucial that supermarkets do everything possible to ensure the safety of constimers and staff. This has generally been what we have seen in supermarkets and businesses across Brent, however Asda Wembley simply aren't doing enough.
I witnesed too many people not wearing masks in store, including staff, and limited social distancing. I have tried to engage with the management directly since Thursday but have so far not heard back on tangible actions they will take.
I am extremely concerned that many Alperton residents and others in the local area who use this store are being put at significant risk. We will only be able to control the spread of the virus if everyone plays their part. I am hopeful Asda Wembley will be in touch soon on changes they will make to keep people safe.
As of yesterday Covid cases around the Forty Avenue area was 627 per 100,000 up 104 from 523 the previous week.