Supermarket Covering Up Cosmo
Jan. 11, 2000
CINCINNATI (AP) _ Kroger, the nation's largest grocery chain, will cover up Cosmopolitan magazine at checkout stands because of complaints about headlines like ``Sex Tricks He's Never Seen Before'' and ''20 Earth-Quaking Moves That Will Make Him Plead for Mercy _ and Beg for More.''
Spokesman Gary Rhodes said Tuesday that all of the company's stores are installing racks this month that will cover up everything but the magazine's name.
Kroger operates 2,268 grocery stores and about 800 convenience stores in 31 states under the names Kroger, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Smith's, King Soopers, Dillon, Fry's, Food 4 Less and Quality Food Centers.
The decision was hailed by Morality in Media, a New York organization that has been pressuring the nation's supermarket chains to remove or cover magazines with ``lurid sexual content'' from checkout aisles.
Kroger said customers complained more about the words on the cover than about the picture, which is usually of a woman with deep cleavage.
King Soopers, Colorado's biggest supermarket chain, will install the blinders at all 81 stores this week, said Dave Savage, King Soopers vice president for retail sales in Colorado.
``We have had to pull Cosmo many times because the cover was not fit for the checkout area,'' where children would see it, Savage said.
Magazine spokeswoman Andrea Kaplan said Cosmopolitan has the highest newsstand sales of any monthly magazine. About half of its 2 million issues are bought at checkout counters, she said.
She conceded that ``Cosmo's not for everyone,'' but added that to her knowledge, no supermarket chain has ever put its cover under wraps.