The Cooperative Group, who have 4,000-plus stores, have set a September deadline, in the meantime introducing of opaque screens as a temporary measure until publishers provide their own modesty bags.
The supermarket chain says that the move is in response to growing concern among its members, customers and colleagues about the exposure of children to the overt sexual images on front covers such as Zoo, Nuts and Loaded, reports The Guardian.
Aussie Olympic shooter Lauryn Mark on the cover of Zoo Weekly Magazine from 2012
Steve Murrells, chief executive of food and retail for the Co-operative Group, said: “We have listened to the concerns of our customers and members, many of whom say they object to their children being able to see overt sexual images in our stores. While we have tried to mitigate the likelihood of young children seeing the images – with a number of measures in-store – the most effective way of doing this is for these magazines to be put in individual, sealed modesty bags.”
Jo Swinson MP, minister for women and equalities and also minister for employment relations and consumer affairs, said adults “should be left to make their own decisions about what legal sexual images they look at, but the place for these is not next to the sweets at children’s eye-level. I hope other retailers will follow the Co-operative’s lead.”