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Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:33 pm
by Susie
By Joanna Blythman. Has anybody read it? I read it this weekend and I'm traumatised! :shock: I'm not quite off picketing T*sco with my placard but I nearly am :(

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:44 am
by oldjerry
I've not read it,but I've got a horrible feeling I know what's in it.These days thinking about T£sco(or 'The Evil Empire' as it's known round here) renders me suicidal.Perhaps Ms. Blythman's book should be marketed in a 2 for 1 offer with the Anarchist Cookbook.

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:14 am
by 123sologne
There is only one thing to do against the likes of T***o and it is to produce your own food, as so many here do anyway. Yes you will still need to go there once in a while but the bill will be very small and the more people get into this position, the more the likes of T***o will start listening. I am not saying to go to a farmer's market or buy organic as it is definitely more expensive than what rubbish they sell and you will never get the poorer people on board buying there but if you can prove to the poor that producing food themselves will cost even less than buying it at T***o, you may be getting them on board too. With the current recession a lot of people are taking to gardening so we should build on that and keep it going and growing even when the recession is really over. Also you can make your own soap, cleaning products and your own beauty products.... All cheaper than what T***o sells. I tell my work colleagues what I do and everyone I meet and if I can get a few more people on board, that is less money going to the supermarkets hurting them slowly in the right place. But I am sure we all do that, so there is hope. :iconbiggrin:

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:01 am
by Susie
oldjerry wrote:Perhaps Ms. Blythman's book should be marketed in a 2 for 1 offer with the Anarchist Cookbook.

:lol:

SusieGee, that's great news. I do think people are moving away from supermarkets a bit (which is why the book says T*sco etc are now targeting Eastern Europe and emerging markets, and non-food items :( ).

123 sologne, although I've failed this year to grow my own food (next year! :icon_smile: ), I've recently been buying all our fruit and veg etc from markets - not always specifically farmers' markets but I've decided supporting any individual trader is probably better than supporting T*sco. It actually isn't more expensive here - I'd say it's an average of 20% cheaper. I keep doing price comparisons on eggs (I don't know why I've picked eggs!) and I can get local free range eggs for 30p cheaper than the supermarket whenever I buy them in local shops! :scratch:

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:24 am
by boboff
I like T&sco, it provides jobs, choice, tax revenue, is well run and is doing well abroad.

It is a professional outfit, and if the NHS was run as well we would all be allot better off.

I have supplied T***o in the past and have always found there buyers to be professional, if you are the best and the cheapest available, and your service and quality is exceptional, then you have no need to worry about a trading relationship with them.

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:56 am
by Green Aura
boboff wrote:the cheapest available


I think that's the main problem though. On an individual basis their buyers may be lovely people but the company policy is to drive what they pay for goods so low that many growers can't make a living out of it. No-one wants to see really expensive food (unless you can afford to shop at Foreman and Field :shock: in which case you probably don't care) but a price that ensures growers can make a living.

And what they can't source cheaply enough in this country they'll quite happily ship round the world rather than pay a decent price.

They have lower income families over a barrel, under-priced food which creates a dependency and an excuse to maintain the status quo.

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:16 am
by Susie
boboff wrote:and your service and quality is exceptional, then you have no need to worry about a trading relationship with them.


Boboff, I'm sure your service and quality are brilliant, and it's lovely to hear the other point of view, thank you. There are no interviews in the book with suppliers who are actually happy to supply the supermarkets, and very little about any counter-argument, which I think is a big omission. However...

The quality of supermarket food isn't exceptional overall. A lot of it is rubbish. If it was genuinely good food and good value, I'd feel much less critical about whatever business practices put it there.

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:27 am
by boboff
By cheapest I mean of a type. If you provide a solution to a need, then many people can provide that solution, what the supplier has to do is provide the solution for the lowest possible price, by producing it efficiently, not cutting corners. All business has to buy as cheaply as it can and sell as expensively as it can, why else would it be in business. They buy from abroad as its cheaper to buy from abroad and ship it here, than it is to buy it in the UK.

I find it silly that the paper the other day was moaning about "british" food not coming from Britain, one such example was "british marmalade" guess what, they pointed out the Oranges didn't come from Britain!! No Sh1t Sherlock.

I do feel for those low income families only getting 2 x 24 cans of Larger for £15 only on special occasions like the world cup. The dependancy is on the lack of education, and the fact they buy processed Pizza, pies and larger, when for a fraction they could use T***o Value Flour, Yeast, Tomatoes and anchovies and make there own home made pizza for a fraction of the price, blaming t&sco for the education of the sub-classes is I feel a "beat the successfull nasty bourgouis pigs" a beating too far.

We have a habit as " ishers" to forget that our choice to do as much as we can out of the main stream does not mean that people who do live fully within it are somehow worse off than us, and also that capitalism, economics, and human nature all pull us all in different directions. The fact that the planet can not sustain this sort of economy into t he medium term worries us, but obviously not the majority.

As I say we all have a choice, and as such I stick by my opinion ( and that is all it is) That T***o is a well run business, operating in a difficult market, that strives to improve itself by always seeking to improve. You will find in all T***o stores a shelf of dusty dented over priced locally produced biscuits, Jam and Fudge, normally its only half full as the local suppliers are not geared up to react within a 24 delivery window. Imagine the chaos in each and every store if that service was passed out to all areas of the store!!!!!

Farmers of the UK are reknown to winge and moan about everything, especially supermarkets, the weather, and John Cravens sweaters, but they all have nice vehicles, and on average have enjoyed the value of there land increase by 300% in the last 3 years.....yeah not bad that is it!!!!

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:36 am
by Odsox
I have to say that a particular cut price supermarket has done wonders here, not Toss-co but that well known German one.
Here in Ireland the main "supermarket" is a franchise called Supervalu which is pretty much the same as Mace, Spar, et al, and every town has one. Up until about 5 years ago everything was hellishly expensive ... and I mean EXPENSIVE, like £2.50 for a pack of chocolate digestives, in fact there was a newspaper and TV campaign about "rip off Ireland" and one of the findings was that Ireland was the most expensive place to buy groceries in the whole of Europe.
Then Lidl built a supermarket in the next town (20 miles away) and the Supervalu market there transformed totally over the next month or so, with prices suddenly dropping by leaps and bounds and the quality going UP in leaps and bounds. It's now a wonderful place to shop except it's always chock full of customers.
But the Supervalu in my nearest town is still the same, still ripping off the older people who can't shop anywhere else, and believe it or not appear to run a policy of leaving goods on the shelves till they're sold. It's the only shop I know that you have to look at the "sell by date" on everything before you buy it .. I've seem cooked crab in there 2 weeks past it's printed sell by date.
So until some competition is allowed by the town councillors it will stay the same, why would they bother to change ? The customers they lose is well made up by inflated prices.
The upshot is that we haven't been to our local town for ages, probably go there about 3 times a year, and a survey was done and apparently about 65% of the people that actually live in the town also travel to the next town to do their weekly shopping.
Which of course means all the other shops, hardware, butchers, fishmongers all suffer as well at the expense of their counterparts in the next town.
So it's not necessarily all bad.

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:58 pm
by JessieMac
I don't use any of the main supermarkets as I find that I can get my loo rolls etc from Aldi's and also get the fruit and veg I can't grow from them at a very good price and unlike T*sco and the like they tend to be ready to eat and don't go from rock hard to rotten overnight, I buy what looks and smells good and fit my meals round that not the other way round.
I buy my eggs from a small local setup and my cheese from the farm along the road and greatly envy those of you with local markets, this way of shopping suits us but not everyone has the time to shop this way.
I also think that there is something wrong with a culture that needs twenty or more kinds of cereal to choose from or fifteen types of jam no wonder people get stressed shopping it's a wonder they don't run amoke with the trollys mowing down everyone in their path. :flower: Jessica

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:20 pm
by oldjerry
I don't have a problem with the 'sub classes' buying cheap lager,imbibing alcohol in large quantities,it's the only way I can watch the present England side.Just because a company delivers groceries in the most profitable way,doesn't mean it's the only way to do it.Supermarkets presently have the power to run roughshood over all local planning regs and thus destroy local communities,established businesses,and if this is the future many people just don't want to know.The real irony is you can buy most of the stuff they sell cheaper in ordinary shops,they are convienient for people who work too long,too hard for what?

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:38 pm
by StripyPixieSocks
Won't set foot in the horrible place nor any other Stupormarkets... luckily it's a lovely community here with some very good local shops which means I no longer have to rely on T*sco et al which I am very grateful for.

It's hard to wean yourself off but at the end of the day cheap isn't always best and their meat is disgusting...

My motto... spent a few pence more, support your local community, eat less of better quality items it's better all around not to mention for your health!

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:27 pm
by fruitcake
StripyPixieSocks wrote:My motto... spent a few pence more, support your local community, eat less of better quality items it's better all around not to mention for your health!

am totally with you on that one - I read Shopped years ago and then a couple of years ago I read nef's Te$copoly - defo well worth a read too!

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:35 pm
by greenorelse
What you can do is walk around your local Trashco, noting down the prices of items you want to buy that are available on farmers' markets or in decent local shops.

Then point out to those market people and local retailers where they are dearer. The great thing is, they'll usually listen and you could well make new friends.

Re: Shopped: the shocking power of British supermarkets

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:17 am
by the.fee.fairy
I have to admit that here i have a love affair with T£sco...

We have the CHinese supermarkets, Lotte Mart (a Korean chain i think) and a walmart.

T£scos is the only one that stocks fresh milk (not UHT), butter and cheese...so i do love it for that! Also, all of their value goods have bilingual labelling, which is handy for me.

And...I emailed their customer services and they're looking into people being able to order worldwide and being able to pick up in the local store, which would be amazingly helpful for me. I need new clothes...desperately...and it would be so helpful if i could order from their UK site and pick up in my Chinese store! When i got an email back from customer services, they said that it would be put forward as a suggestion because they appreciate that there are many foreigners in other countries who could do with either a taste of home, or buying things like clothes that fit.

It's strange. In the UK i hate them with a passion, i hate the fact that they take over and kill high streets and local businesses. I suppose that it's because here it's seen as a 'luxury Western brand' so they can't take over.