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Jasmin Suggit, 26, was forced to leave the high street store with crying five-week-old son Isaac. She intended to feed him in a changing room but, when she noticed these were closed, the mum asked to use a seat in the shoe department instead and was allegedly told this wasn’t allowed.
Jasmin said: “She (the employee) replied ‘no not in here and the bathroom is also closed. You’ll have to do that in Asda’. I was so shocked by this response that I immediately left the store with my crying newborn.
“I’d like to point out that the shop assistant stated ‘the bathroom is closed too’. This is suggesting that this is a suitable place to feed my baby.
“A bathroom isn’t a hygienic place to feed a baby so why was this even suggested to me.
“This also adds to my argument that she was suggesting I may not breastfeed in the store but have to go and ‘hide in the bathroom’. Please educate your staff that any women can breastfeed her baby wherever she chooses.”
I should feel confident to shop in your stores with my baby without panicking about if they will need feeding and where I am able to go
The mum visited the Matalan near Southcoates, Hull, in June when fitting rooms were shut in all retail stores across the country due to the pandemic.
Matalan has apologised, has taken “immediate actions” and intends to look into the circumstances.
But Jasmin told Hull Live: “I should feel confident to shop in your stores with my baby without panicking about if they will need feeding and where I am able to go.
“I have never experienced this in the two years I have been a breastfeeding mother. I believe your staff need educating on the law and breastfeeding and how they can be more helpful in the future.
“I want to give you the opportunity to deal with this matter and educate your staff.
“During my visit, my son started crying as he was hungry and needed feeding. I looked around and headed towards the changing rooms as I knew they would have a seat where I could discreetly feed him but noticed they were closed.
“The store was quiet so I went over to the shoe department for a seat and, out of politeness, asked a nearby store assistant if I could feed my baby here.”
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Jasmin, from Hedon, East Yorkshire, said she has received an “impersonal” and “unsatisfactory” reply back from the Matalan customer care team offering her a 20% off online voucher.
A spokeswoman for the firm said: “We are sorry to hear of this customer’s disappointment in their experience with us.
“We want to make sure Matalan offers a welcoming and enjoyable experience for all the customers and families who shop with us, and the account that this customer has provided doesn’t sound like the high quality service that we’re committed to.
“We have taken immediate actions to look into the details of the concerns raised on this occasion, so that we can be in a position to take any further appropriate measures.”
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