GALLIVARE, Sweden – He may look young for his age, but 77-year-old Swedish retiree Per-Eric Henricsson was not flattered when his local supermarket asked him to show ID to prove that he was old enough to buy a case of beer.
Now, Henricsson has asked the National Association of Senior Citizens for help in pressing the ICA supermarket in Gallivare, northern Sweden, to stop carding the elderly.
"It is ridiculous. I have been a customer at ICA for more than 40 years and they know me," Henricsson told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The minimum age for buying low-alcohol beer and cider in Swedish supermarkets is 18. Beer with higher alcohol content, wine and spirits are sold in government-operated liquor stores, where 20 is the age limit.
Henricsson had planned to buy a case of beer for a social gathering of the local senior citizens group he leads when the cashier asked for his ID. He said he was so insulted by the request that he refused to make the purchase and left the store.
Supermarket manager Lars Hakan Olofsson said the cashier followed the store's policy to demand ID from all customers buying alcohol because it is difficult to guess people's ages.
"I want to make it easier for my staff," he said, adding that several other supermarkets in the area have similar policies.