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Ampleforth teenager's anger over comment by assistant at Sports Direct store in Monks Cross, York
A TEENAGE girl said she was left feeling “upset” and “uncomfortable” by an assistant at a York shop.
Lucy Holliday, from Ampleforth, was shopping at Monks Cross in York on Sunday with her mother and a friend when she went into Sports Direct to buy shoes.
Lucy, who is a lesbian and celebrated her 19th birthday on Monday, said: “I tend to buy male shoes because I have larger feet than a lot of girls and they are more comfortable.
“I haven’t had any problems with it before and went to the check-out, waited in line.
“When he saw me he asked if they were for me and then went on to say I shouldn’t be buying men’s shoes because I’m a girl, there was a girl’s section for a reason, and he made me feel really uncomfortable for buying something that I liked.”
Lucy, who is also her mother’s carer, and her friend left the store, but was so shocked by the attitude of the sales assistant that she burst into tears once she got outside.
She said: “I don’t really think that’s how sales assistants are supposed to be with customers. I just left so upset and I don’t want to go back again.
“As we left, my friend told me as soon as he said something she could see my reaction getting worse. He was looking right at me when he was saying this.”
Lucy’s mother, Emma, who has Fibromyalgia and was not in the store at the time, said: “She shouldn’t be made to feel bad because she likes them and they fit her better, but he made her feel small, stupid and very, very bad, and I have never had my daughter come out of a store in tears before.
“I phoned them for 20 minutes and I got no reply and I’m furious about this. My daughter is a lesbian and buys mens’ shoes because they suit her style.”
Lucy came out three-and-a-half years ago, and works with the gay community in Scarborough.
She said she had never encountered any problems or confrontations which had affected her like Sunday’s incident. She said: “I know a lot of people who have struggled with trying to be who they are and that kind of behaviour isn’t going to help with how they are feeling.”
A spokesman for the store, said: “I have not been made aware of any complaint but it may have been a light-hearted comment that has been taken the wrong way. If I was made aware of a member of staff upsetting a customer, the matter would be dealt with internally.” The spokesman has also offered to speak to Lucy personally about the matter.