Food retailer Iceland has come under fire after a national discount for emergency workers specifically excluded customers in the Hebrides.

The national chain, Iceland Foods, launched a UK-wide promotion on Twitter on Friday (July 13th) offering 10% off any shop for police, fire, NHS, coastguard and RNLI workers, saying: “Because you do so much for us… we want to do something for you.” But it was the small print which caught the attention of some, as the footnote read: “Offer available in the UK only, excluding the Hebrides.”

Iceland faced a social media backlash over the weekend, with angry comments accusing the chain of discrimination and geographic ignorance.

Comments included: “This is utterly shocking and totally disrespectful to the men and women that serve one of the largest areas in Scotland.” And: “In the Hebrides they pay premium prices for absolutely everything and could do with a nice discount. This offer would be a wonderful idea if it was inclusive but it's discriminatory and insulting to the people who could benefit from it the most.” While another challenged: “Last time I checked, we haven't been Norwegian since 1266.”

Western Isles MP Alasdair Allan joined the chorus of protests, posting: “And why exactly is this offer not available in the Hebrides?”

Iceland responded yesterday afternoon (Sunday July 15th) saying: “The Iceland in Stornoway is a franchise store and their promotions are set completely independently from ourselves.” Stornoway’s Iceland store did, in fact, run an emergency services discount promotion from their opening in November 2017 until the week before Christmas.