Sainsbury’s had made a groundbreaking change and has become the first big supermarket to stop selling fireworks.
Following a petition calling to ban the public sale of fireworks which has drawn over 300K signatures, Sainsbury has set a milestone to protect mainly animals, children and people with phobia and decided to stop selling fireworks.
Sainsbury’s said that in the wake of a regular yearly review of its products, the decision was made selling fireworks at its 2,300 stores across the UK.
Animal rights activists and pet owners hailed the remarkable decision by tweeting and reacting on social media and calling other supermarkets to follow in their footsteps.
Sainsbury’s spokeswoman didn’t explain the reason the company decided to stop selling fireworks saying it was commercially sensitive as Tesco and Asda stated they would continue with fireworks sale.
The chief executive and founder of Savvy Marketing, Catherine Shuttleworth, claimed that selling fireworks was “a really expensive way of doing retail in supermarkets”.
She added: “When you go and buy your fireworks, obviously they are not on a shelf anywhere in the store. They tend to be in a glass cabinet that’s locked up and a member of staff has to go and unlock that cabinet every single time you want to buy fireworks.”
She continued by saying that consumers’ age must be checked by law since selling fireworks to people under the age of 18 is illegal. Moreover, supermarkets are not allowed to send fireworks back to the distributor “and they are quite dangerous to keep in the back of shops, which are busy places”.
Last year’s petition to ban the sale of fireworks gained 307,897 signatures, said that they “injure thousands of people every year” and “cause damage to buildings, vehicles, [and] emergency vehicles”.
The UK government responded by saying it “takes the issue of safety of fireworks very seriously. Legislation is in place to control their sale, use and misuse. We have no plans to change legislation”.
Professional healthcare posted on Twitter: “Just came here to say a huge thank you and praise to Sainsbury’s for the decision to not sell fireworks this year. It is not just the animals who suffer but anyone who is unwell or has a condition like autism.”
In addition, Alison Thewliss, Scottish National Party MP tweeted as well: “Really pleased to see Sainsbury’s have taken the responsible decision to stop selling fireworks. I hope other retailers follow suit.”
Happily, tighter controls on the selling of fireworks and the use of the product seem to be imposed in Scotland after a recent consultation over the topic.
The stats say it all: 87% of the 16,000 people who responded wanted a ban on the sale of fireworks while 94% wanted tougher controls.