Pick n Pay: 'Broken chocolate' incident could have been handled differently

A woman was allegedly harassed by staff because her grandson had apparently broken a chocolate.

A woman and her grandson were berated at a Mitchells Plain Pick n Pay after refusing to pay for a chocolate allegedly broken by the young boy. Picture: Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - Giant retailer Pick n Pay says an incident involving an elderly woman and her grandson, during which she was allegedly berated in a Mitchells Plain store, could have been managed differently.

The woman was allegedly harassed by instore security staff at the weekend because her grandson had apparently broken a chocolate in its wrapper.

A photo of the crying woman and distraught child was posted on the retailer's Facebook page, where members of the public have been demanding answers.

Pick n Pay management has since visited the customer and apologised for the incident.

The retailer's Jonathan Ackerman says the rowdy crowd exacerbated the matter.

"I think sometimes people are overzealous and you've got to look at the situation independently. There's a tiny little kid involved. I just wish that the store manager had taken money out of his pocket and said, 'Don't worry we'll pay for it.'"

Ackerman says while the staff member was not wrong, the situation could have been dealt with in a different manner.

"The little kid had broken the chocolate and there was an overzealous staff member doing the right thing. We can't have everyone damaging our merchandise all the time, but you've just got to get a balance and read the situation. There has a distressed granny, be sensitive of the situation. It wasn't a kid being really naughty, he was a little boy."

It is not yet known whether steps will be taken against Pick n Pay security or staff who allegedly harassed the grandmother and her grandson.

In a written statement, Pick n Pay's Jarred van Vuuren says the woman has since accepted the retailer's apology and considers the matter resolved.