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Tony Grist

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In Praise Of Supermarkets And Waitrose In Particular [Jul. 22nd, 2014|10:46 am]
Tony Grist
We stopped doing a big weekly shop at a supermarket several months ago. I was barely hacking it: unloading Ailz's scooter from the car, going round the shop, putting everything on the belt at checkout, bagging it, loading it into the car, loading Ailz's scooter into the car, unloading the car, putting everything away; it was just too much. So now we have Waitrose deliver.

They're expensive but the quality is brilliant- and if they make mistakes they offer generous recompense. This morning, for example, one of the eggs in our box of 15 was broken so the delivery man gave us the whole box for free. It's the sort of gesture that builds customer loyalty. Again, if they have to substitute one item for another the substitute item almost always represents a trade up- and you get it for the same price.

Julie Burchill was on TV last night singing the praises of the big supermarkets. A brave thing to do- but then Burchill is fearless; I admire her for it even when I dislike what she's saying. On this matter though I've been in her camp for years. We forget- in our ineradicable but idiot nostalgia for all things dead and gone- how the small shop was so very often a rubbish shop. The supermarkets are not only a good thing in themselves, but have forced the small shops that are left to raise their game.

[User Picture]From: qatsi
2014-07-22 08:28 pm (UTC)
We've found Ocado to be much better than Waitrose (much the same product range, some cheaper own brands though the delivery charge (which varies with the time of day) probably cancels that out). I think it depends on the branch fulfilling your order - in our case it comes from the smaller Thatcham branch rather than the Reading one I'd go to in person, and they regularly seem to be out of a number of items in our trolley. The Ocado stuff is probably more centrally managed in a bulk back-office style.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-07-23 08:19 am (UTC)
I've never dealt with Ocado. We've tried Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose- and like Waitrose best.
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[User Picture]From: porsupah
2014-07-24 06:09 pm (UTC)
Indeed, I'm quite fond of Ocado. Similar ranges, though certainly different in places, notably beer (though neither have a great deal to offer in cider) - but their deliveries stand out in particular as being supremely well-coordinated. They'll stage the entire order by your door first, then ring the bell, so you're not stuck letting heat gush out in winter. And even the crates are well designed, with the bags secured on hooks, so they're easy to quickly unhook and hand over. Not to mention sending a text message on the day, both as a reminder, and to confirm whether or not there are any substitutions.

Generally, I cycle between Ocado, Waitrose, and Sainsbury's - the latter more for the value diet cola, I admit, as lugging 2-litre bottles back on the bus gets a bit old, and Sainsbury's value stuff is only 20p, or 60p for the "normal" variety, versus 95p or so for Ocado/Waitrose. Not a huge difference, but if I pick up a dozen in an order, it adds up.
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