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A Coles shopper has received a surprising reaction after sharing her concern over “frightening” in-store Halloween displays on Facebook.
The concerned mother slammed the Halloween display she encountered at the storefront of Coles’ Ferny Grove store in Brisbane, saying it was too scary for children.
But a lot of people commenting on the post have disagreed, saying the shopper is being overly "sensitive" and that they hope the decorations "stay up".
The controversial display in question is a large skeletal prop looming over the front counter at the Brisbane store, as well as several skeletons playfully suspended from the ceiling.
“I was quite taken aback by the Halloween display at the storefront counter with the skulls and quite scary/frightening things and gravestones for young children to see,” wrote the Brisbane shopper.
The mother explained that she mentioned her concern for young children to the woman at the checkout and asked if she could raise it with the manager, but her request was rebuffed.
“I do think that you should try to keep Halloween decorations in all stores light and not leaning too dark and scary/frightening for young children,” added the shopper.
“Not all of us want to explain to young children why there’s skulls at supermarket entrances when they cannot understand things yet, but just see images and cannot choose what they wish to see or not.”
Coles says stores are 'getting into the spirit of Halloween'
A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that stores are getting into the spirit of Halloween with spooky displays.
“Every year we see more customers looking for ways to celebrate the fun of Halloween and some of our stores are getting into the spirit with spooky decorations," a Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
"Our intention is to inspire customers, not frighten them, so we are grateful for customer feedback and will follow up with our stores.”
If customers want to learn more about the history of Halloween they can head to to the Coles website to find out more.
‘Imagine being this fragile’: Customers defend Coles
Despite several customers echoing similar sentiments over the spooky Halloween displays popping up in Coles stores, the majority of the nearly 200 people commenting on the poast have defended the supermarket.
“I couldn’t disagree more. My three and six-year-old love the display, it’s a work of art and a great conversation piece,” wrote one Ferny Grove shopper in defence of the supermarket.
"I’ve heard many positive comments and think this sensitivity is too much."
Another wrote: “I really hope these stay".
"The Ferny Grove team put an amazing amount of effort into it and the majority of locals love it. Hopefully one negative Karen doesn't ruin it for the rest of us,” they said.
A third shopper wrote: “Love the Halloween display".
"My children have been brought up to be resilient and I talk to them and explain things, so they don't become scared of a plastic display,” they wrote.
Customers joke that Coles should cancel Christmas
Meanwhile, other shoppers suggested the recent outcry over in-store displays had gone too far and wondered if Christmas and Easter displays would be next to be cancelled.
“Shall Coles cancel Christmas, Easter and Valentines Day decorations too? Stop bubble wrapping your kid and educate your child that this isn’t real!” wrote a frustrated shopper.
“Hope she doesn't celebrate Easter… because someone needs to blow that wide open,” laughed another.
While others joked supermarkets should cancel Christmas, as it sends the message to children that a “fat guy dressed in red breaks into your house, leaves presents and eats your food”.
One woman even went as far to share her own satirical post on Facebook, joking that her child was scared of Santa Claus and urging fellow supermarket giant Woolworths not to put up any festive displays this year.
“Just letting you know my daughter has a fear of Father Christmas so I would really appreciate it if you could stop the fun of Christmas this year and not put any decorations up in your stores just to suit her. Cool, thanks,” she wrote in her post.
Woolworths removes Halloween decorations after outcry: 'Too scary'
It’s not just Coles copping flak from customers over their Halloween displays, with Woolworths being forced to take down their spooky display in a Western Australian store.
A local mother shared a post to Facebook on Friday, asking for the Grim Reaper skeletal display at Woolworths Esperance be taken down as it was “too scary”.
After the complaint, a Woolworths spokesperson confirmed with Yahoo News Australia that the decorations have now been removed.
“We want all customers to feel comfortable and welcome in our stores, and appreciate this customer's feedback on the decorations at her local store,” they said.
“We have passed this feedback on to the store team, who have since amended the display.”
Speaking to Yahoo News, the mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that many parents struggle during Halloween.
“Every year I see my son and my friends’ kids struggle with the decorations - melt downs, telling me over and over how much they don’t like it and how scary it is,” she said.
“I am so relieved and grateful to Woolworths for taking them down.”
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