Boots the chemist has sparked outrage with its decision to prominently sell sex toys in over 1,000 of its stores – with concerns about children seeing the products.
One parent said he thought it was “disgusting”, while a grandmother commented it was “completely inappropriate”.
On some displays the sex aids have been removed from their packaging and displayed with a card detailing their features.
Customers have to walk past the sex toys in order to shop for shampoo, toothpaste and deodorants, according to a national newspaper.
Scott Millins, 26, from Gravesend said: “It’s quite disgusting. I’ve got a nine-month-old baby boy and a three-year-old son”, and he added “that’s definitely not the sort of thing I would want them to see”.
Grandmother Julie Burgess, 43, said: “I am appalled. It’s completely inappropriate. I’m shocked that a store like Boots is selling sex toys, let alone displaying them so openly.
“My two children are grown up now, but I’ve got a little granddaughter and I certainly wouldn’t want to be walking her round Boots and having to explain what a sex toy is.”
In 2005 Boots decided against selling sex aids alongside toiletries because of concerns that stocking them could damage their brand.
But the company is now selling them in around half of their stores.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “Approximately 1,200 stores stock these products and we have worked hard to ensure they are discreetly packaged and merchandised.
“There are no laws restricting the sale of these products. However, if someone who looks under 16 tries to buy such a product, Boots staff would use their discretion to decide whether it is suitable for them.”