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Store manager Mark Gabriel: I am a bit concerned about their welfare around the freezer cabinet
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Sunday, 10 January, 1999, 20:16 GMT
Shopping for the bare essentials

Prices may not be the only thing to come down if Tesco agrees to a request to open late for nudists.

A naturist group in Hastings wants to strip off and shop at their local supermarket, but concerns over health and safety may block the plan.

A Tesco spokesman said: "We have not actually said we will do it but we are seriously looking into it.

"We are waiting for health and safety to give it the all clear."

Store manager Mark Gabriel said: "The thought of naked people wandering around a food store through the fresh fruit and veg would be of concern to some people."

He also said there could be problems with the -18°C to -21°C "chill factor" around the freezer cabinets.

Under the plan the naturists, from the Hastings branch of the Central Council for British Naturism (CCBN), would undress in the store and redress before they leave.

Further precautions would include the blacking-out of windows to prevent prying eyes.

'Cheap and disgusting'

Campaigner Mary Whitehouse condemned the plan as "cheap and disgusting".

She said: "I think it is incredible. It is not logical, I mean the whole thing is crazy and disgusting. It is such a cheap idea."

If nude shopping does go ahead staff will be paid at time-and-a-half and will be allowed to keep their clothes on.

Mr Gabriel said: "I am open-minded about it. I would be there myself and I expect my wife would come down as well."

He added: "I think as a store we could operate it - but I don't know how much demand there would be for it. I expect it will be a one-off event."

Tesco is to meet the CCBN later this month to reach a decision.

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