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Supermarket Update

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Baxenden Bank

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But you're killing the rainforest... Erm, I mean granny.... ;)

Seriously though, the one thing I've noticed in recent months is how people are loosing their fear of each other in supermarkets, with social distancing all but a thing of the past.
Well, you say that.

Yesterday, after 12 whole months of this nanny state cotton wool make every aspect of life a total misery nonsense I finally had an encounter with a scaredy cat. With a dismissive hand gesture (shoo, shoo) he said 'you're too close to me please step back'. He had, of course, stopped dead in the only entrance to Tesco, with no-one in front of him, at lunchtime on Good Friday. I didn't swear, honest, but my voice may have raised slightly above a whisper with a "well get a move on then" reply. To be honest, if someone is that bothered about the proximity of another living breathing thing they could consider shopping at a quieter time - plenty of choice between 0600 and midnight!

As to queues, there was one outside the B & Q Warehouse as I walked to Tesco. That is the only queue I have sen since last June.

Then again, those two magnificent emporiums, plus the mom and pop corner store up the road, are the only commercial premises I have visited in 12 months.
 
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Butts

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But you're killing the rainforest... Erm, I mean granny.... ;)

Seriously though, the one thing I've noticed in recent months is how people are loosing their fear of each other in supermarkets, with social distancing all but a thing of the past.

Yes I'd noticed the "proximity pathos" has all but gone (thank god) - facilitated largely by the removal of the one way system inside that accentuated it.
 

Hadders

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Is the formula something that stores have been given by the government or has it been determined by individual stores?
It's not a national formula as such but shops are required to be 'covid secure'. Each retailer will have agreed the general principles of how they will operate with their 'Home Authority' (normally the local authority where the Head Office is located and who takes the lead on Environmental Health, Safety and Trading Standards matters)

Wilkinson’s still have queuing here, though generally the queue is pretty short and fast flowing. To be fair at weekends it seems like the whole town is trying to get in there.
The branch of Wilkinson's will have a high number of shoppers for its size hence why queuing happens at certain times of the week.

My partner and I take no notice whatsoever of ‘shop alone’ signs. I don’t care if some idiots say this is ‘selfish’.
Yes “shop alone” really gets my back up.
If they're all from your household anyway, surely the number of people you shop with makes absolutely no difference.
There are two reasons why supermarkets are asking customers to shop alone where possible:

1. Customers from more households can be accommodated at the same time, meaning shorter queues where queuing is in operation. To be fair this isn't an issue in the vast majority of stores.
2. Multiple people from the same household tend to congregate in the payment area. This makes staff feel very uncomfortable from a social distancing point of view. On manned checkouts there are screens (and the checkout belt and packing area which creates a barrier) but there are still supervisors and runners behind the tills and the more people there are the more distancing becomes problematic. Self checkout and smartshop areas are congested at the best of times and again, multiple people from the same household just makes it far, far easier for staff to observe social distancing.
 

bramling

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It's not a national formula as such but shops are required to be 'covid secure'. Each retailer will have agreed the general principles of how they will operate with their 'Home Authority' (normally the local authority where the Head Office is located and who takes the lead on Environmental Health, Safety and Trading Standards matters)


The branch of Wilkinson's will have a high number of shoppers for its size hence why queuing happens at certain times of the week.




There are two reasons why supermarkets are asking customers to shop alone where possible:

1. Customers from more households can be accommodated at the same time, meaning shorter queues where queuing is in operation. To be fair this isn't an issue in the vast majority of stores.
2. Multiple people from the same household tend to congregate in the payment area. This makes staff feel very uncomfortable from a social distancing point of view. On manned checkouts there are screens (and the checkout belt and packing area which creates a barrier) but there are still supervisors and runners behind the tills and the more people there are the more distancing becomes problematic. Self checkout and smartshop areas are congested at the best of times and again, multiple people from the same household just makes it far, far easier for staff to observe social distancing.

That does make sense about the checkout areas. We tend to use the manned checkouts, and generally at quiet times like after 2000 so it isn't really an issue. I can see how the self checkouts may be a problem.
 

Hadders

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That does make sense about the checkout areas. We tend to use the manned checkouts, and generally at quiet times like after 2000 so it isn't really an issue. I can see how the self checkouts may be a problem.
I had no idea until I started speaking to some store staff. Self checkout areas are congested at the best of times and adding screens for social distancing (while necessary) agruably makes congestion worse in this area.
 

MarlowDonkey

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1. Customers from more households can be accommodated at the same time, meaning shorter queues where queuing is in operation. To be fair this isn't an issue in the vast majority of stores.
Against that it can be slower with one person to unload a full trolley of shopping and reload once scanned because you cannot be both sides of the checkout operator at once. When a store is at its self imposed capacity, the rate at which people leave determines the rate at which people enter and thus the length of the entry queue.

There were queues Christmas week, but locally I don't think I've seen any since.
 

Big Tim

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Once the "door guardians" made their comeback in November / December, I have taken to doing my supermarket shops very early in the morning. I usually go to a large ASDA in a retail park first thing on a Monday morning (around 6.15am). The foyer has segregated entrance / exits, sanitiser / hand gel / blue roll all in place still, but at that time there's no one "keeping order" / counting the customers. There's usually very few members of the public in, but quite a number of staff doing home delivery picking. Got to know quite a number of the staff as a regular face, and often have chance for a chat with them. Self-checkouts only open at this time.

Have very occasionally used Morrisons in York, same set up as ASDA with the separate exit / entrance, sanitisers etc. However, they have a member of their own staff counting in and out even at opening time, and a uniformed security presence. Not had to queue though - they were amongst the most draconian in "Lockdown 1" with a regimented snaking queue outside the store, then another through the clothing department for the tills.

Usually do a "top-up" shop at Lidl, again in central York on a Thursday morning, getting there for their 8am opening. Usually one or two lined up outside as they arrive before the doors open, but I tend to wait in the car until the shop opens, and walk straight in (this has only started now the better weather has arrived to be fair - very few were in attendance on the dark, frosty January mornings). Again still have sanitising stations etc for customers.

Noticing a lot less people "social distancing" as vigorously, and certainly far fewer using the hand gels, wiping trolleys etc. Not been in the York Waitrose for many years, but every time I pass in the car there appears to be a marshaled queue - even last summer when restrictions eased this appeared to be the case.
 
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Hadders

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Against that it can be slower with one person to unload a full trolley of shopping and reload once scanned because you cannot be both sides of the checkout operator at once. When a store is at its self imposed capacity, the rate at which people leave determines the rate at which people enter and thus the length of the entry queue.

There were queues Christmas week, but locally I don't think I've seen any since.
That is a good point although you then end up with more people at the checkout area which I referred to in my 2nd point, which ultimately can make social distancing more difficult.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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I think keeping away from strangers is generally a good thing, 2m separation, it has to do with "respect", the same when on a train or bus, cycling or driving (more than 2m, wait if not safe to pass). I always take a trolley to increase my 'footprint' and keep others away, the 'tailgaters' in the queue are awful.

At shopping heaven near me a sign says "max 348 customers". I avoid the store as far as possible because muzak is played there.

Shopping is a chore, not sure why one takes a companion*. If people shopped alone when possible the stores would not have to be quite so big.

* help for disabled etc excepted
 
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Butts

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I had no idea until I started speaking to some store staff. Self checkout areas are congested at the best of times and adding screens for social distancing (while necessary) agruably makes congestion worse in this area.

What's the point in the screens if you've already got a mask on ?
 

Hadders

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Shopping is a chore, not sure why one takes a companion
The majority of the population disagree. It's a huge leisure activity in this country.

What's the point in the screens if you've already got a mask on ?
Official guidance on social distancing is 1m + mitigation (face coverings). The problem is the self checkouts are less than one metre apart. That's before you get into the debate about people who are exempt from wearing masks.
 

Freightmaster

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I think keeping away from strangers is generally a good thing, 2m separation, it has to do with "respect", the same when on a train or bus, cycling or driving (more than 2m, wait if not safe to pass). I always take a trolley to increase my 'footprint' and keep others away, the 'tailgaters' in the queue are awful.

At shopping heaven near me a sign says "max 348 customers". I avoid the store as far as possible because muzak is played there.

Shopping is a chore, not sure why one takes a companion*. If people shopped alone when possible the stores would not have to be quite so big.
Some people enjoy shopping?? "I don't believe it!" :D
 

Grecian 1998

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The concept of 'retail therapy' is not a new one. However I struggle to believe it applies to supermarkets - an environment generally visited out of necessity. Some people enjoy trying on different clothes, but I have never noticed anyone exhaustively comparing bread, milk or toothpaste. Wine perhaps.
 

Cdd89

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Some people enjoy shopping?? "I don't believe it!" :D
My shoes have finally been discontinued by the manufacturer (I did buy three pairs of them a couple of years ago while on clearence, but I get through shoes quite quickly), so I’m going to have to face up to visiting a shoe shop in the near future. Or I suppose I could play shoe roulette.

If a company made clothes and promised to maintain the line for online reorders for say 20 years, they’d instantly get my business, but apparently there’s no demand for that because people enjoy shopping!
 

takno

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The concept of 'retail therapy' is not a new one. However I struggle to believe it applies to supermarkets - an environment generally visited out of necessity. Some people enjoy trying on different clothes, but I have never noticed anyone exhaustively comparing bread, milk or toothpaste. Wine perhaps.
I've got literally no interest in shopping for clothes. Shopping for food, and looking out for interesting new stuff to try I can absolutely get into. Ideally I'd like to discuss that with somebody as I go round. The point is academic of course since I've been in a supermarket twice since July. You may think that sounds wonderful, but for me it's been quite a loss.
 

MikeWM

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No one seems to be taking any notice of the “shop alone” nonsense. We were challenged once on it last year going in to Waitrose, which will be the last time we ever use Waitrose (never really liked Waitrose anyway, for me the only thing worth going in there for was celebration cakes).

Oh, indeed, there's all manner of people in Tesco and Sainsburys here who quite blatantly aren't shopping alone. Same in Asda in Cambridge, which I popped into today to buy some very cheap socks.

(Agree about Waitrose - only went there because they sold one thing that I couldn't get anywhere else, but then for no apparent reason they just stopped selling it, so I no longer had any reason to go there...)

Out of interest, remember when one of the arguments for masks in shops was that it would stop us from having to queue up to enter shops?

--

My shoes have finally been discontinued by the manufacturer (I did buy three pairs of them a couple of years ago while on clearence, but I get through shoes quite quickly), so I’m going to have to face up to visiting a shoe shop in the near future. Or I suppose I could play shoe roulette.

If a company made clothes and promised to maintain the line for online reorders for say 20 years, they’d instantly get my business, but apparently there’s no demand for that because people enjoy shopping!

I have a similar issue - I finally found a pair of decent comfortable shoes a few years ago, and bought 4 pairs. Of course they no longer make them. I've only one left unused, but I'm going to have to move to them soon because all the walking I've done in the past couple of months has worn a big hole in one of the soles :(
 

bramling

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The concept of 'retail therapy' is not a new one. However I struggle to believe it applies to supermarkets - an environment generally visited out of necessity. Some people enjoy trying on different clothes, but I have never noticed anyone exhaustively comparing bread, milk or toothpaste. Wine perhaps.

It does seem to be the case that some people go to the supermarket as a leisure activity.

I don’t really get why people go as a complete family, but many do.

Whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate going to the supermarket, I certainly don’t enjoy it, though it’s bearable at quiet times (and at times of late at least it’s a change of scenery!). We like to drive to Tesco Extra, whip round, through the checkout, and go - and we tend to get enough of everything to last a week, so that we don’t have to come back in the interim - especially as during Covid popping down to the town centre Sainsbury’s to “top up” has been a pain, I think I’ve only been in there about three times since March 2020. I find one person doing a full weekly shop is a pain at the checkout, hence why we prefer to go as a pair.
 

johnnychips

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I don’t really get why people go as a complete family, but many do.
I go shopping in an inner-city Tesco Extra. Families often buy a massive amount. You need the husband and wife to carry all the bags, and if you have kids, they need to come with you or who would babysit them? There is a sign at the entrance saying ‘only one member per household’ which staff and customers happily ignore. It causes no problem whatsoever.
 

DelayRepay

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My local Tesco has all the infrastructure for queueing - barriers, traffic lights and signs - but I've not had to queue for months. There is a security guard in the entrance but he's always been there, even pre-covid. The only difference is that he used to sit at a podium watching CCTV, now he stands by the door reading the newspapers.
 

Kite159

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I've queued a couple times to get into my local Asda, but that can be hit & miss at the time of day.

Local Tesco has the green/red light system which seems to be on permanent green, especially when I visited on the 26th Feb where it was like Christmas Eve inside (queues for the manned checkouts being 2 trolleys deep and a 10 minute queue for the self service tills).
 

RuralRambler

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My shoes have finally been discontinued by the manufacturer (I did buy three pairs of them a couple of years ago while on clearence, but I get through shoes quite quickly), so I’m going to have to face up to visiting a shoe shop in the near future. Or I suppose I could play shoe roulette.

If a company made clothes and promised to maintain the line for online reorders for say 20 years, they’d instantly get my business, but apparently there’s no demand for that because people enjoy shopping!
I've finally met my tribe. When I find something I like, I always go back and buy more of the same so I have some in "stock" for the future so I don't have to waste time and money either going to shops to "browse" or order loads of different sizes online in the full knowledge most will be sent back.

What gets me, though, is the likes of Clarks etc have had some of the exact same shoes in their clearance/outlet stores for many, many years, yet others appear for one season and then never seen again. There's no rhyme nor reason as to which product ranges they continue producing and which they do as a single one off production run. It's infuriating. I used to buy all my shoes from Clarks, but literally havn't bought a single pair for probably 10 years.
 

rg177

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The M&S in Newcastle has two sets of doors leading into Haymarket Bus Station.

They seem to have eventually settled on having both being allowed for entry and exit following this weird obsession with constantly switching them around to the extent that I'd find myself getting shouted at by staff as I leave the store for using the "wrong" door.

I also ended up getting lost in the Tesco Wicker/Burngreave in Sheffield earlier this week due to the weird one way system which led to me getting in a lift then took me to a set of stairs into the store...that were blocked by various signs etc. I climbed around them and staff seemed so unbothered that it must be a regular occurrence.
 

Freightmaster

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I've got literally no interest in shopping for clothes. Shopping for food, and looking out for interesting new stuff to try I can absolutely get into. Ideally I'd like to discuss that with somebody as I go round.
Likewise! :smile:

I have been working from home for almost 30 years now, and I can't get motivated to just "go for a walk"
so I really appreciate any opportunities that force me to get me out of the house such as popping out to the
supermarket (and having a meal out a couple of times a week with Mrs Freightmaster!:( ) that other people
might take for granted or even find boring/pointless.




MARK
 

Tracked

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Just been to Morrisons, haven't been since last Monday but there were a few changes:

1) The separate entrance/exit system has gone, though as this isn't highlighted anywhere everyone's still using the one entrance. Saw a few people other than myself hesitating before using it to exit.
2) A lot (or maybe all, the two most obvious ones have, forgot to look if the other one was there on the way out) of the sanitising stations at the entrance have now gone, leaving just the small ones inside.
3) No member of staff just inside the door (only ever saw them being asked if it was Ok to go in anyway, which it always was)
 

greyman42

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No one seems to be taking any notice of the “shop alone” nonsense. We were challenged once on it last year going in to Waitrose, which will be the last time we ever use Waitrose (never really liked Waitrose anyway, for me the only thing worth going in there for was celebration cakes).
There are regularly queues at the Waitrose store near me when it appears to be none too busy inside. I and other customers walk away and do their shopping at the other four supermarkets that are all within walking distance of the Waitrose. They seem intent on shooting themselves in the foot when you look at the precarious state of their partnership.
 

Gloster

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The Sainsbury’s Local in the centre of one of the nearby towns seems to be tightening things up. Previously the only person at the door was a member of staff, who hung around just inside the entrance, but today they had a a security man in hi-vis outside.
 

dk1

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The Sainsbury’s Local in the centre of one of the nearby towns seems to be tightening things up. Previously the only person at the door was a member of staff, who hung around just inside the entrance, but today they had a a security man in hi-vis outside.
Yes both my local large Sainsbury’s do too but have only ever once questioned by a grumpy staff member whether I am my Mum’s carer to which she flew round & said “no I’m his” haha. The security guard then called me as we used to work together at the railway station. Suppose she was just doing her job.
 

Jamesrob637

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I went to both a local Aldi and a local big Tesco yesterday.
Neither had a queue outside and typically it was only a lack of open checkouts (Aldi, though they did open up another whilst I was shopping) and some self-service checkouts out of use (Tesco) that prevented me from being even quicker.
Apart from the masks, it almost felt like a pre COVID bank holiday!
May I never have to queue again outside a supermarket!
 

Urobach

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Only one I know of nowadays is the Co-Op on New York Street in Leeds -the security guard, sitting inside the store will bark at you saying theres a queue, which isn't obvious, around the corner. Needless to say I haven't been in since.
 
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