WOOLWORTHS has cancelled Christmas in one of its German stores after claiming its only remaining customers are Muslim.
The former high street favourite went bust seven years ago in the UK but still operates 300 stores across Germany.
And a row has broken out after staff at a branch in Dortmund decided not to bother with Christmas decorations, gifts or music this year because it is now essentially a Muslim store.
Shocked locals found out after the Christmas section, which featured decorations, gifts and and festive treats such as chocolate Father Christmases, was removed after just a few days on display.
And a staff member reportedly told baffled shoppers: “We are a Muslim business now. We do not want to sell Christmas articles.”
Branch manager Seda Capakcur, 25, confirmed Christmas products had been withdrawn from sale.
She said: “The Christmas articles are hardly in demand here. Already last year, everything remained unsold.”
Bosses have denied the store is a Muslim business and that Christmas is being ignored as company policy.
Spokeswoman Diana Preisert said: “Woolworth is, of course, not a Muslim company. Christmas merchandise is available from September onwards and should be sold out by the end of December.
“In this branch, however, demand was too low. Therefore the goods were distributed to other branches.”
Ms Preisert said there were hardly any customers who celebrated Christmas as the shop was in a now mainly Islamic area which had created specific “local conditions”.
Thousands of migrants, many of them Muslims from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, were relocated in the industrial city in the Ruhr Valley when Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Germany’s doors to refugees in 2015.
According to city officials Christians now make up under a third of the population of North Dortmund where the store is located.
Many Britons will fondly remember the Woolworth’s Christmas TV adverts of the 1970s and 1980s which were as eagerly awaited as the annual John Lewis commercial is nowadays.