This sign was posted at the self checkout aisle at the Cool Springs Kroger today. Of course, Mark and I were dumbfounded. That is discrimination posted on a sign in plain sight. Not only in plain sight, but meant for everyone to read.
So this means that if you are visiting from France, you cannot buy a pack of cigarettes at this Kroger. If you are from Kenya visiting this country, you cannot buy a Miller Lite at this Kroger. And, yes, if you are from Mexico or South America you are also out of luck.
If anyone knows of a legitimate reason why the management of the Cool Springs Kroger would post such a sign, I would really like to know what it might be.
I totally support showing identification to assure you are old enough to buy beer and cigarettes. I’ll be happily carded when I’m 80. But this? And it’s not even grammatically correct.
OK, here’s an update and then I’m done with this. Mark writes to Kroger inquiring why they are instituting a discriminatory policy and here’s the reply:
Dear Mr. Mayhew:
Thank you for contacting The Kroger Family of Stores. We appreciate your feedback regarding the identification policy Kroger stores. Our corporate policy dictates our register operators are expected to request identification and enter in customers’ birth dates as listed on their valid identification cards. Valid identification is defined as a valid state driver’s license, state issued identification card, U.S. Passport, U.S. Immigration card, or military identification card with a matching picture. This process ensures the protection of our employees and our customers and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused.
If you have any further comments or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us. We appreciate your patronage and hope you will continue to shop with us. Have a nice day.
And here’s Mark’s reply:
Dear Ms. Rump:
Thank you for your prompt and courteous reply. The sign in your Cool Springs store demands “United States issued identification” in order to purchase alcohol or tobacco products. As you are well aware, state and federal laws require that a purchaser of tobacco or alcohol products be able, in some circumstances, to prove that he/she is of an eligible age. There is no legal requirement for an alcohol/tobacco consumer to prove citizenship, residence, or immigration status. This process seems particularly egregious in a state where foreign-born executives from Japanese and German car companies live and work, to say nothing of the hundreds of Hispanic workers who live and work in Middle Tennessee.
Demanding “United States issued identification” appears to put the Kroger Company in the business of enforcing immigration laws. I don’t much like it when the state of Arizona attempts to do so; I like it even less when a grocery store attempts to do so. If this is not the company’s intention, you need to change the wording on your signs. If this is the company’s intention, I can’t imagine what your executives are thinking.
Hundreds of convenience stores across this state sell tobacco products and beer to adult Hispanic laborers every day without requiring them to produce “United States issued identification.” If Kroger no longer wishes to have the business of these hard-working men and women, it can surely do without my business as well.
Very truly yours,
Mark A. Mayhew