Irish food store chain, Supervalu, has clarified its position over a reported decision taken by the company to remove all Israeli products from its shelves across the country.
An article appeared in a Dublin newspaper earlier this week claiming that an email had been sent from Supervalu Head Offices to its 232 stores across Ireland instructing them to remove all products originating from Israel and dispose of them at ‘store level’.
Supervalu was rumoured to have taken the decision in protest over Israel’s military tactics in the Gaza Strip which have resulted in the deaths hundreds of innocent men, women and children since July 8.
Supervalu, which has five stores in the Derry city area, told the Journal yesterday afternoon that they were not involved in any Israeli boycott and that they believed in leaving their ‘customers free to make their own purchasing decisions’.
A spokesperson for Musgrave Retail Partners Northern Ireland, which operates the franchise for, and supplies, SuperValu, Centra, and Mace stores in Northern Ireland said:
“Musgrave Retail Partners has only one product sourced from the Middle East in our catalogue - medjool dates (from Israel).
“We are not withdrawing this product, nor are we planning to source any further products from the Middle East, in keeping with our policy of not adopting any political standpoints and leaving our customers free to make their own purchasing decisions.”
Elsewhere, a Smyths Toys store in Dublin removed Israeli products from its shelves and despite positive feedback on social networking sites, the decision was reversed.
Smyths Toys, which has a store on the Strand Road in Derry, told the Journal that decision taken by one of its Dublin based stores had been ‘reversed’ and that they had no intention of boycotting Israeli goods.
“Smyths Toys sells products for children in 30 stores across Ireland and imports from countries across the world. We do not engage in national or international political affairs.
“One store last week took products from one country off its shelves. This decision has now been reversed . Our customers should be free to make their own decisions.”