Woolworths bans Christian mags

2010-10-20 09:12
Johannesburg - Christians are threatening to boycott Woolworths stores after a decision to no longer sell Christian magazines.

This means readers of magazines such as Lig, Juig, Joy and Lééf will have to buy them elsewhere.

Jean Oosthuizen, webmaster of the discussion forum Kletskerk wrote on www.koerant.co.za on Tuesday that angry readers of religious magazines were threatening to boycott Woolworths until the decision was revoked.

The decision also received a large number of comments on Facebook.

"Personally, I don't like some of those magazines but I think it's wrong that all religious magazines are now removed.

"Then Woolworths has to take down all other magazines with a smaller circulation as well," said Oosthuizen, who is also the news editor of Kerkbode.

Business decision

Adri-Louise van Renen, editor of Lig, confirmed that she was informed about the Woolworths decision after receiving an email from their distributor.

"I don't want to discuss the matter in the media. I want to try to sort it out with Woolworths," she said.

Van Renen wrote in a letter to her readers: "All similar magazines have immediately been taken down from their shop shelves.

She quoted a letter from Woolworths, saying: "Woolworths has taken a business decision to no longer stock any religious magazines, with immediate effect.

"We have already given all our shops directives to remove religious titles from shelves."

"Why would Woolworths take down all religious magazines from their shelves but use the marketing opportunity of religious days like Christmas and Easter to their own advantage?" asked Van Renen.

Reviewing magazines

Answering a customer's question on the Woolworths Facebook page, a spokesperson of the chain simply said that Woolworths had reviewed their whole magazine catalogue and rationalised it.

Woolworths CEO Simon Susman told Beeld that it was against the store's policy to sell religious and political magazines.

"We are currently reviewing all magazines sold by Woolworths. We will continue to remove magazines from our shelves that aren't popular with clients.

"We aim not to offend any community by this policy," said Susman.

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