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Supermarket Update

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johncrossley

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I don't think Waitrose self-service have accepted cash for years, I remember being in one in Chester probably 5 or 6 years ago and none of them taking cash. Neither the 'mini Waitrose' in Cambridge nor the larger one in Ely do so now. Fortunately I'm not in Waitrose often!

So I don't think this is really a Covid thing, but they've used it as an excuse to accelerate what they wanted to do anyway. It does rather go against the principle of 'the customer is always right' when there is clearly some significant degree of demand still to use cash.

At least they still allow people to pay in cash and they don't even apply a surcharge for the privilege. It costs more to process cash transactions, so that means people paying in cash are being subsidised by the other customers.
 

Jamiescott1

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I live 100 yards from a mid-sized Sainsbury, but I stopped going there from March 2020.

I simply saw this as a means of minimising my risk of exposure to Covid-19 when I had other alternative arrangements I could make.

Last week I went back for the first time in over a year.

I'm glad to say that it was a good experience, I'm happy about my visit. Extra people outside cleaning the shopping trolleys and presumably reminding people to wear masks. A few signs, but nothing excessive. No one-way arrangements or closed aisles. Check-out tills now surrounded with protection for the workers. Several of the staff welcomed me back "we haven't seen you for a while" etc. which was nice.

Sounds awful.
I hate people outside - it's a supermarket not a nightclub.
Those plastic screens get in the way.
Theres a sign next to the baskets at my local sainsburys that says "these baskets are sanitised regularly". I often ask where I can get an unsanitised one from
 

bramling

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If they are so terrified of other people, why don't they stick to home delivery??




MARK

Being cynical, I’d say a lot of this isn’t about fear of Covid, but about wanting others to behave in particular ways. Like with masks, you can bet when they are no longer mandated usage will drop off a cliff, but in the meantime “it’s not fair, I’m wearing one so why shouldn’t you too” will prevail.
 

Tracked

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Went in the food part of M&S in town earlier, they've gotten rid of the one way system through the womens' clothing section (a month or so ago you'd be queuing to get into the store, then queuing in the womens' clothing section to get to the food hall, at the busiest times of day). No-one on the door counting in/out either, as far as I could tell. Can't remember seeing hand sanitiser, but I'd washed my hands not long before going in.
 

johnnychips

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I really haven’t seen this terrified behaviour as reported in the last few posts, though I am sure you all are reporting accurately. In Sheffield and Doncaster both in ‘inner city’ and suburban areas in big supermarkets, everything and everybody are normal; the stipulation about ‘only one person shopping’ is ignored and not enforced.
 

TravelDream

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Because the full range isn’t available online could be one reason. I’m especially thinking of (fresh) items from the bakery.

I did online shopping once or twice, but this is the thing that really put me off.

It's not just bakery stuff, but a whole range of things I often buy that are available in my local average-sized Tesco, but not available online.
 

Baxenden Bank

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If they are so terrified of other people, why don't they stick to home delivery??




MARK
In addition to the later replies, some supermarkets do not do newspapers. Tesco will deliver a daily paper but only in delivery slots after 1300. In addition to the limited range of items from the 'fresh' bakery available on-line, they also can only be delivered in the afternoon - 1300 or 1400. Personally I like to scan todays newspaper over breakfast, which preferably consists of fresh bread roll/s.

There is also 'I don't know what I want until I get there'. I find myself ordering on-line the same things every time, because they are in my favourites. Walking down the aisle in person reminds me of things I haven't bought for a while, or for a change.
 

MikeWM

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Waitrose in Ely didn't have a lunchtime queue to enter when I passed by on Friday! First time I've seen that in over a year.

I'm not sure why Tesco and Sainsburys are persisting with their 'you must shop alone' signage and announcements. It doesn't appear to be being enforced in any way, and is surely rather nonsense now - certainly since 'non-essential' shops were allowed to reopen.
 

DelayRepay

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I'm not sure why Tesco and Sainsburys are persisting with their 'you must shop alone' signage and announcements. It doesn't appear to be being enforced in any way, and is surely rather nonsense now - certainly since 'non-essential' shops were allowed to reopen.

Not a supermarket, but my local garden centre have signs at the entrance saying you must shop alone.

These signs are still there, despite the fact they opened the outdoor area of their cafe in April, and the smallest table seats four people...
 

Hadders

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Not a supermarket, but my local garden centre have signs at the entrance saying you must shop alone.

These signs are still there, despite the fact they opened the outdoor area of their cafe in April, and the smallest table seats four people...
Government guidance is still to shop alone which is why the supermarkets are still promoting this.
 

ChrisC

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I’ve just got back from going to B&M Bargains in a nearby town. Quiet, as it usually is mid afternoon, and apart from mask wearing almost normal except for the prices. I’ve been doing all of my shopping at small local shops since March last year and and so it’s my first visit to one of these bargain chains for almost 18 months. I don’t use them very often but go occasionally because there are a few things that I regularly use which have always been at a very cheap price there.

I was quite shocked at how much the prices have risen since I last went there. I’m not sure it’s even worth going again as many branded items were actually far more expensive than you would pay for own brand items in a regular supermarket and that even includes more expensive shops like Sainsburys and Waitrose. I used to be really impressed with how cheap some items regularly were in B&M but today I found it very expensive. It’s not a shop I like and now perhaps not even worth going to for bargains. I expect Home Bargains have also greatly increased their prices.
 

LAX54

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At least they still allow people to pay in cash and they don't even apply a surcharge for the privilege. It costs more to process cash transactions, so that means people paying in cash are being subsidised by the other customers.
But then some stores do not accept cash below £10 (some £5) due to the costs involved with VISA etc, and insist on cash as it is 'fee free' with the Banks.
 

Baxenden Bank

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I’ve just got back from going to B&M Bargains in a nearby town. Quiet, as it usually is mid afternoon, and apart from mask wearing almost normal except for the prices. I’ve been doing all of my shopping at small local shops since March last year and and so it’s my first visit to one of these bargain chains for almost 18 months. I don’t use them very often but go occasionally because there are a few things that I regularly use which have always been at a very cheap price there.

I was quite shocked at how much the prices have risen since I last went there. I’m not sure it’s even worth going again as many branded items were actually far more expensive than you would pay for own brand items in a regular supermarket and that even includes more expensive shops like Sainsburys and Waitrose. I used to be really impressed with how cheap some items regularly were in B&M but today I found it very expensive. It’s not a shop I like and now perhaps not even worth going to for bargains. I expect Home Bargains have also greatly increased their prices.
They rely on high volume to achieve profits from relatively low margins. Lower footfall and social distancing will hit them, leading to increased prices. Whether wholesale prices have increased due to extra Covid costs I don't know, but it is being suggested on food products. I can't recall any news items recently on how well the high street discounters are doing.

Are the branded items still lower than in the big supermarkets?
 

ChrisC

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They rely on high volume to achieve profits from relatively low margins. Lower footfall and social distancing will hit them, leading to increased prices. Whether wholesale prices have increased due to extra Covid costs I don't know, but it is being suggested on food products. I can't recall any news items recently on how well the high street discounters are doing.

Are the branded items still lower than in the big supermarkets?
The branded items are still quite a bit lower than the normal supermarket prices but not,so,greatly reduced as they were 18 months ago. A couple of things I looked at were much cheaper than the full price but Sainsbury’s have recently had them on special offer at an even lower price. One item that I always got for £1.09 was now £1.59 although that’s still cheaper than the full price of £1.99. Generally things were not at the unbelievably low prices they used to be and I would no longer go out of my way to shop there. Like I said, from my quick visit this afternoon I thought many Sainsbury’s, Co op and Waitrose own branded items are now far less than lots of the branded items in B&M.
 

Baxenden Bank

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The branded items are still quite a bit lower than the normal supermarket prices but not,so,greatly reduced as they were 18 months ago. A couple of things I looked at were much cheaper than the full price but Sainsbury’s have recently had them on special offer at an even lower price. One item that I always got for £1.09 was now £1.59 although that’s still cheaper than the full price of £1.99. Generally things were not at the unbelievably low prices they used to be and I would no longer go out of my way to shop there. Like I said, from my quick visit this afternoon I thought many Sainsbury’s, Co op and Waitrose own branded items are now far less than lots of the branded items in B&M.
In the old days, I used to buy my household cleaning products and personal care products from the various high street discounters. There was a time when Tesco (my main shop) were considerably more expensive for the brands I prefer, except when they had an offer on. It was convenient to buy them whilst out and about and it kept my main shop down to a reasonable weight to carry home.

In the current times, I wouldn't go to town just for that - it isn't worth the bus fare or the hassle of queuing for just a few items.
 

DannyMich2018

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Very surprised Sainsbury's cafe's are still closed, not even open for takeaway! Used to be a big fan of Sainsbury's but the last year or so I go far less and avoid going if I can. I still think Morrisons is the best of the big four not just cafe but the whole range of counters etc with a great bakery and good value cakes. Like someone has said above Tesco have a lot less special offers now unless you've got a Clubcard so you're fleeced if you not got one. so I have one as I go in occasionally for bits. I don't shop at Poundland now as they've moved into a much smaller (!) premises next door, presumably to save costs and they sell small portion items with shorter date lifes so it's best to stick to supermarkets. Might try online food shopping for the first time ever soon see what it's like.
 

DelayRepay

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Very surprised Sainsbury's cafe's are still closed, not even open for takeaway! Used to be a big fan of Sainsbury's but the last year or so I go far less and avoid going if I can. I still think Morrisons is the best of the big four not just cafe but the whole range of counters etc with a great bakery and good value cakes. Like someone has said above Tesco have a lot less special offers now unless you've got a Clubcard so you're fleeced if you not got one. so I have one as I go in occasionally for bits. I don't shop at Poundland now as they've moved into a much smaller (!) premises next door, presumably to save costs and they sell small portion items with shorter date lifes so it's best to stick to supermarkets. Might try online food shopping for the first time ever soon see what it's like.
I am not sure if Sainsburys will ever bother to re-open their cafes. Most of the stores I have been in over the last year have been using the cafe space as either an extra store room, or a temporary Argos click and collect area. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the cafes don't end up as Costa/Starbucks franchises and others simply close or become Argos outlets (where there isn't already an Argos in the store).

Morrisons seem more interested in their cafes - our local one was running a takeaway operation for quite a while including a telephone ordering service. When outdoor hospitality re-opened, they set up a seating area outside. I think they have an app for ordering now, too.
 

westv

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The problem with the cafe at our local Morrisons is the rather bland selection of food. Strange considering the variety on offer in the main store.
 

Gloster

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If I were running a supermarket chain I would be watching to see whether pre-COVID café-using habits will return. It may be that people have got out of the habit of using the cafes when shopping.
 

ExRes

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Barbed wire down and machine gun post removed, managed to walk into and out of Waitrose yesterday unmolested and unsanitised, on the bad side they're still out of marmite though, damned covid ...
 

DelayRepay

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The problem with the cafe at our local Morrisons is the rather bland selection of food. Strange considering the variety on offer in the main store.
The problem in our local one is that their cooker seems to only have two settings. 'Cold' or 'Burnt'.
 

route101

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The problem with the cafe at our local Morrisons is the rather bland selection of food. Strange considering the variety on offer in the main store.
Cheap and Cheerful. Not tried the Morrisons Cafe in years.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Cheap and Cheerful. Not tried the Morrisons Cafe in years.
Often used the one at Hereford in the past, as it's handily located near to the station.

Morrison's café at Bredbury (Stockport) was back open yesterday, but wasn't overly busy.
 

DannyMich2018

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I am not sure if Sainsburys will ever bother to re-open their cafes. Most of the stores I have been in over the last year have been using the cafe space as either an extra store room, or a temporary Argos click and collect area. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the cafes don't end up as Costa/Starbucks franchises and others simply close or become Argos outlets (where there isn't already an Argos in the store).

Morrisons seem more interested in their cafes - our local one was running a takeaway operation for quite a while including a telephone ordering service. When outdoor hospitality re-opened, they set up a seating area outside. I think they have an app for ordering now, too.
Yes, I know several stores such as Yarmouth and Grantham the Cafe is replaced by an Argos, a few others too I'd imagine. It's a shame because pre-Covid it was well used in my town and didn't re-open till August or September last year prices not too bad but the choice of food in Sainsbury's Cafes has never been fantastic especially after 11.30 when breakfast menu finishes. We already have an Argos in the store so I imagine the Cafe will re-open.
Morrisons has changed their menu now so I'll go tomorrow for breakfast and see what's it like...
 

Bishopstone

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The Sainsbury cafes on my patch show as re-opening on June 21st, in the online store directory. I suspect this re-opening may be deferred if social distancing rules remain in place, as they ran a very limited menu - and as a result didn’t get much custom - between lockdowns last year.

In terms of space for more Argos outlets, Sainsbury aren’t re-opening their fresh meat, fish or bakery counters, so in fact many stores have more space than they need, pending new business opportunities that will probably include franchising of other high street names.
 

Busaholic

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Barbed wire down and machine gun post removed, managed to walk into and out of Waitrose yesterday unmolested and unsanitised, on the bad side they're still out of marmite though, damned covid ...
No Marmite shortage in Penzance, all stores awash with it, and prices down in most cases. Wish I hadn't bought three jars when I read of future shortages three weeks ago!
 

Ostrich

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If I were running a supermarket chain I would be watching to see whether pre-COVID café-using habits will return. It may be that people have got out of the habit of using the cafes when shopping.
My local Waitrose has just embarked on a huge refurbishment programme which apparently includes extending the existing café outwards, so they must be confident. I must admit I haven't used it since they withdrew the free coffee with a Waitrose card perk. I'm more interested to see if they manage to fix the leaks in the roof, though, especially the one over the newspaper racks ......
Barbed wire down and machine gun post removed, managed to walk into and out of Waitrose yesterday unmolested and unsanitised, on the bad side they're still out of marmite though, damned covid ...
Last 5 visits:
1 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon - store busy but not exactly rammed - no security on the door, just walk in.
2 in the evening - store virtually empty apart from the shelf-packers - security mooching around the entrance looking bored!

Go figure. The only explanation I can come up with is that we just do things diff'r'ntly, down 'ere in Daarzet ..... :E
 

birchesgreen

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When I was in Uttoxeter on Saturday I popped into the Waitrose and has lunch in their cafe. First time I've eaten indoors (apart from home of course) since last July, was quite an odd feeling at first! Anyway it was well patronised though I got a table without bother.
 
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