A group of mums have called on Coles supermarket to reconsider putting “scary” and “frightening” Halloween displays in its stores.
Sharing on Facebook, one mother reached out to the retail giant to say that she felt the “dark” gravestone and skull decorations at her local Brisbane store were too much for young children.
Several other Facebook users agreed with the mum’s post, with one saying that a Coles display had given her son “extremely bad nightmares”.
Another parent said they avoid taking their kids to stores in October because of the “hideous, scary displays”.
The calls come just days after Woolworths removed a “creepy” display of ghoulish figurines hanging from the ceiling at one WA store following after another mother raised similar concerns.
The issue has sparked debate on social media, with many defending the supermarkets’ Halloween displays as being “awesome” and “a lot of fun for the kids”.
But in this recent Facebook post, the Coles shopper in question said she didn’t want to have to explain why there are “skulls at supermarket entrances” to her young children.
“I visited your Ferny Grove store this morning in Brisbane. I was quite taken aback by the Halloween display at the storefront counter with the skulls and quite scary/frightening things and gravestones for young children to see,” she said.
“I commented on my concern for young children to the lady helping me checkout my groceries and she completely ignored my concerns and didn’t answer me when I asked if I could raise this with management.
“I do think that you should try to keep Halloween decorations in all stores light and not leaning to dark and scary/frightening for young children.
“Not all of us want to explain to young children why there’s skulls at supermarket entrances when they cannot understand things yet but just see images and cannot choose what they wish to see or not. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.”
Other Facebook users shared her concerns.
“I‘ve not seen the display but my poor nine-year-old is having extremely bad nightmares since seeing one of the Coles displays,” said one.
Said another: “I also agree! I was in Kmart last night and I couldn’t believe the things they have on display at the door! It is hideous!
‘Getting worse every year’
“I just shake my head and walked away … I feel like it’s getting worse every year.”
Said a third: “100 per cent agree. We avoid taking the kids to the shops at this time of year. So many stores are doing hideous, scary displays that I don’t want my kids seeing.”
Wrote one more: “Completely agree with you. Decorations in some stores are very scary, I would just not support them then.”
Another said: “I hope Coles takes this into consideration.”
But others disagreed, saying they loved the Halloween displays at Coles – especially the one at Ferny Grove.
“I couldn’t disagree more. My three and six-year-old love the display, it’s a work of art and a great conversation piece,” said one.
“I’ve heard many positive comments and think this sensitivity is too much.
“I hope Coles realise this post perception is the minority and that many customers love the Ferny Grove displays and appreciate the amount of work that go into them.”
Said another: “I agree with you I love the displays !it’s so sad that people are looking for things to be offended by now!”
‘Halloween is fun’
Wrote one more: “Halloween is supposed to be a bit scary. That is the whole idea of Halloween and exciting for children.
“We were in Big W yesterday and watched all the kids getting such a kick out of all the novelty Halloween items there and laughing and squealing.
“You need to be a little more tolerant and be happy that most children find Halloween incredibly FUN. I drive buses for disability kids and Halloween is the most exciting time for them.”
Another shopper was more on the fence with the issue, suggesting that the displays shouldn’t be at the front of stores.
“I agree and disagree. My four-year-old has been super scared this year (of) Halloween, when last two years he loved it and our families get right into it as it’s fun and with the last year’s been so crap I’m all for fun.
“But my son was so scared the other day to just walk into Big W that everyone was staring and he literally ran off from me.
“So I don’t think it should be at the front of the stores giving parents no choice to go around it if they wish. Would be better to have it in a corner you can avoid if needed.”
A Coles spokesperson has told 7NEWS.com.au that the supermarket is grateful for the feedback and only wants to inspire customers with its decorations.
“Every year we see more customers looking for ways to celebrate the fun of Halloween and some of our stores are getting into the spirit with spooky decorations,” the spokesman said.
“Our intention is to inspire customers, not frighten them, so we are grateful for customer feedback and will follow up with our stores.”
7NEWS.com.au understands that Coles receives a lot of positive feedback about its Halloween decorations each year.