A woman from Pwllheli in Gwynedd has said that she was told to leave a shop on the town’s High Street after saying “excuse me” in Welsh.
Glenys Jones said that a member of staff in the Original Factory Shop on the High Street replied to her in a “fierce voice” that he only spoke English.
After she said that she only said “excuse me” she alleges that he replied “no you didn’t, you said it in Welsh” before going on to say that if she didn’t want to speak English she could get out.
A spokesperson for The Original Factory Shop commented: “The Original Factory Shop has 168 stores nationwide and we are proud to operate 16 of those shops across Wales. At our Pwllheli store, two thirds of our colleagues are fluent Welsh speakers.
“We were therefore surprised to hear of this complaint and are investigating. Everyone is welcome in our stores and we do our utmost to provide a helpful and friendly service for all our customers.”
According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, 80% of the population of Pwllheli speak Welsh, with the highest percentage of Welsh speakers, 94%, in the 10-14 age bracket.
“I am 68 years old, a local and have worked in Pwllheli for 53 years and have never had anyone speak to me like this before,” Glenys Jones said.
“I was disappointed and shocked that such a thing could have happened on our local high street.
“I want to take the case further with the company – but I feel it’s my duty to share the story.”