Family ‘humiliated’ after two theft accusations in Aldi

Ebbie Olukoya and her daughters Deborah, Dorothy and Bernice at the Shirebrook branch of Aldi.
Ebbie Olukoya and her daughters Deborah, Dorothy and Bernice at the Shirebrook branch of Aldi.

A mum says her children have been left traumatised after the family were falsely accused of stealing from the same Aldi store - on two separate occasions.

Mum of three, Ebbie Olukoya, is furious about the accusations and says they were targeted ‘because of our colour’.

The 38-year-old was at the checkout at the Aldi store in Shirebrook with daughters Deborah, aged ten, Bernice, aged nine, and five-year-old Dorothy on Wednesday, January 20, when the shop assistant asked to see what she had in her bag.

This came on top of another incident before Christmas when the family were chased by members of staff after leaving the store - accused of putting something in their bag which they had not paid for.

The company has now apologised for the behaviour of its staff and the family have been offered gift vouchers and treats by way of compensation.

Ebbie, of Springfield Avenue, Shirebrook, said: “It has been very traumatic, embarrassing and humiliating and the height of just being targeted because of our colour. The children were too upset and could not believe what they were being subjected to.

“I immediately requested to speak to a manager who reluctantly apologised only when I advised her that I would be taking this further and would be prepared to make a formal complaint to their head office.”

The manager told Ebbie that the information had come from a customer which they had acted on but admitted that the store’s staff could have acted ‘more professionally’.

However, she says the incidents have left the children apprehensive and uncomfortable about returning to the shop.

A spokesman for Aldi said: “We have apologised to Ms Olukoya for the distress and inconvenience this incident caused her and her family.” However, this week the family received a phone call from the store’s head office and also from the regional manager of Aldi Stores offering an apology to the family and more particularly, to the children who all witnessed the events.