R18 video games, movies and box sets were last night being pulled from the shelves as The Warehouse Group moves to reinforce its family-friendly brand values.
The move, which was announced yesterday and has been met with mixed reaction, was motivated by the graphic sex scenes and violence towards women in the recently released video game Grand Theft Auto V.
"With the increasing amount of feedback we get from customers, team members and the wider community around R18 material, we believe that our exit from R18 games and DVDs will be positively received by parents and families around the country," said Warehouse Group chief executive Mark Powell.
"It's simply the right thing to do for our brand."
The removal of R18 titles means some seasons of popular series such as Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, the recent Leonardo DiCaprio film The Wolf of Wall Street and games including The Last of Us will not be sold in Warehouse Group stores The Warehouse and Noel Leeming or online from tomorrow. Many of the stores had already begun the process last night.
Group spokeswoman Joanne Fullam said the move would affect about 400 titles.
Anti-exploitation group Stop Demand has praised the move, with chairman Mike Pinkney calling it a "stunning show of ethical leadership".
Last week Stop Demand approached the company to highlight Grand Theft Auto V's "graphic violence against women" and to question the "deeply misogynistic, hyper-masculine" game's fit with the group's brand values.
Feedback from Herald readers was mixed, with Lisa Debra Williams calling The Warehouse move "a bit silly".
"People should be able to self-regulate and look after their own kids in terms of what they can access."
But many were full of praise, especially parents of young children. Joe Youssef, who has children aged 4 and 6, said it was "awesome".
"To know there is a kid-friendly family shopping store where my kids will be safe means the world to a dad.
"To know a corporation is putting families before possible profit is inspiring. Go The Warehouse! I hope other large retailers follow your lead!"
Karen Rawlinson said her 11-year-old boys were impressed. "Big gamers in this house and makes us more likely to shop there, as an appreciation of a business with a social conscience."
But gamer Cameron Gray opposed the decision so strongly he's started an online petition against it.
"As a gamer, I feel very strongly about freedom of speech and censorship; what The Warehouse has done goes against everything I stand for."
Ms Fullam yesterday said The Warehouse Group would honour customers' outstanding online orders.
The Warehouse Group consists of 92 Warehouse stores, 77 Noel Leeming stores and 63 Warehouse Stationery stores.