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THE INC. LIFE

This FamousGrocery Store Banned Millennials From Buying Fruit (And It Had An Excellent Reason)

Sometimes, you have to make harsh decisions.

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 05 Nov 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

 

The supermarket business is tough.

Margins are very thin, as is the tolerance level of shoppers.

They're dangerous people. They know they have choices.

Sometimes, though, you just have to stare them in the face and say: "No. You're not going to do that."

I find myself, therefore, bathing in admiration at Walmart-owned Asda grocery store, after it reluctantly took a big decision that would hurt some of its customers.

It was all done to protect just one man. A famous man, as it happens.

You see, an Asda grocery store in Manchester, England banned anyone under the age of 25 from buying kiwi.

Just that sentence discombobulates the mind.

The store, though, was upset because world-famous singer Harry Styles -- he who fronts One Direction and grew up with the screams of young women coursing through his body -- was being pelted by fruit during his concerts.

For reasons that should never trouble rationality, fans had taken to tossing fruit -- specifically kiwis -- as he sang a song called, oh, "Kiwi."

This, though, almost cost Styles his dignity. He slipped on one of the tossed pieces.

How could Asda possibly countenance the notion that one of its kiwis had brought the demise of one of the world's great artists?

How would the store's management ever live it down if Styles, say, twisted an ankle?

Or, worse, soiled his pants?

So, in a statement to the Telegraph, Asda explained it would demand to see the ID of anyone contemplating a kiwi-purchase.

The under-25s could forget it. They clearly needed to grow up.

"We know our customers love Harry Styles and we feel it's our duty to protect a fellow Mancunian from any 'bad kiwis' amongst us," said an Asda spokesperson.

(A Mancunian, should you have never ventured north of London, is someone who comes from Manchester and likely has no appreciation of good soccer.)

Please imagine the despair of so many 24-year-olds, desperate to buy some kiwis in order to perfect the art of audience participation.

Of course, this is all quite brilliant marketing.

Asda got fruitful publicity, as it supported a home-grown star.

I worry, though.

Don't you imagine that some enterprising 25-year-old would start buying crate-loads of kiwis and then selling them to the under-aged?

This could lead to kiwi carnage.

Indeed, it did. During his Manchester concert, Styles slipped again and fell over.

I cannot confirm that the offending piece of fruit came from Asda.

I have scoured the media to check on Styles's well-being. As far as I can tell, he's still OK.

Styles, though, is on a European tour. Tonight, Stockholm. On Tuesday, Berlin. Then Amsterdam and Milan.

I hope that local supermarkets will step up and ensure that they sell responsibly.

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