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Dragging their heels and falling behind.
Member Name: MandyMinx
Date: 30/06/03, updated on 30/06/03 (958 review reads)
Advantages: Close to home, CD's and video's at competative prices
Disadvantages: Long queues, cold shops
Do we need our supermarkets open 24 hours a day?
I know for some people 24 hr shopping has been a god send. I know personally that there have been times that I have been really grateful to be able to shoot off to my local Tesco store in the middle of the night to grab a bottle of Calpol or box of tablets when one of the family is glued to the loo with a dicky tummy.
Tesco was founded in 1924. It presently has over 2000 stores worldwide including the one down the road form where I live in Top Valley Nottingham. I am in desperate need of a bag of sugar, so I will be happy to show you around while I am there.
This particular store has been open for a good many years, but has, in the past year been converted to a 24 hr store.
Its well situated next to a main road and has a huge carpark with plenty of disabled parking areas and also mother and child parking for when we have the kids with us. There is also a bus stop. For a good few years now Tesco has operated a really handy free bus that travels around the local estates on a regular basis picking up and dropping off many of the elderly residents and those mums with young children and no transport. This is a real help to lots of the people living in the community and I remember being grateful for it on a few occasions before we got our wheels.
Now that we do drive, there is a handy 24 hour petrol station that Tesco own at the bottom of the entrance to the store. Service here is excellent and we use it regularly as it is the closest one to our home.
Trolley's are situated just outside the doors and there is a wide selection of different types to choose from, including the ones that clip onto the front of wheelchairs and the cute little ones that you can put a newborn baby in.
The store itself is large, spacious and very well lit. The aisles are clean, uncluttered and very wide. I prefer the aisles here to the ones at nearby Morrisons as they are not full of baskets and
they provide easy access for mothers with prams, disabled people in motorized chairs and those crazy people who cannot drive a shopping trolley to save their lives.
I have to tell you at this point that I do not choose Tesco's to do my weekly shop, opting instead for the choice and variety on offer to me at Morrisons, despite my grumble about the width of the aisles.
Most of you will be aware that there is a price war going on between many of the major supermarkets at the moment. There is much more choice for the consumer and the battle is on between the major companies to provide the perfect environment and availability for its shoppers while still offering value for money. When I go shopping I expect a mix of both quick and convenient but healthy foods, along with a wide variety of different products to allow me to shop in a way that suits not only my lifestyle, but also my pocket.
Sadly I think that Tesco are slipping down the popularity lists quite quickly, whether this is to do with the introduction of their new express stores I am not sure, but what is clear to me is that when I go into my local Tesco store after visiting Morrisons, Tesco seems to be a little behind the times, a little stale.
Don't get me wrong, the produce at Tesco is on the whole, fresh and well laid out. I actually prefer the way that the fruit is displayed in Tesco compared to Morrison's. There is a good selection of fruit and veg along with the mixed salads and washed prepared produce that I often use as an accompaniment to a meal. All the fruit and veg is in one place and is easily accessible. I like this, I don't want to wander around the store looking for baskets and boxes to make sure I have whats on my list.
I think what I find lacking at my local Tesco store is the choice, the variety.
Tesco have a fish counter, along the same lines as the one at Morrisons, but there is not the same variety on offer and it is seldom s
taffed and you very often find yourself waiting for someone on the deli counter to finish serving before you get your fish. They also do not seem to have the same expertise as we have come to expect since shopping at Morrisons. I like to ask questions about the cleaning and the cooking of fish. Many a time I have asked questions of the staff at the fish counter at Tesco only to have the assistant look at me blankly, mumble an apology and slope off.
I find the store cold, you need your coat when traveling the aisles of this store. Cold is quite a good description though as the store feels like it has no life, no spark.
Bread is cooked on the premises and the smell is really inviting, but again compared to many of today's supermarkets the choice is a little more limited.
Its not that they don't sell all the essential items that I usually add to my shopping list, the tinned goods, the fresh meats, the frozen foods and the hardware and toiletries are available and easy to locate. It's just that there doesn't seem to be as much choice and it might just be me, but I think the prices are creeping up, they don't seem as competitive as they used to be.
The blue and white markings of the Tesco value products are easily recognised around the shop, but the trend for these products seems to me to be more limited, a point which I think applies to many of the bigger stores now. Have we got fed up of them, or is it that prices are becoming more competitive and with BOGOF (Buy one get one free) being the flavor of the moment, can we now afford the more recognisable, better advertised products? I think the latter.
Tesco have a good choice of BOGOF products on offer, but they do not tempt me as easily as some of the other stores do. I find that Tesco seem to charge a lot more for the product on offer when it is on BOGOF. I know that all the stores do this, but Tesco seem to push the boat that little bit further.
Tesco dabble i
n the world of mobile phones, gardening, DIY and fashion, but not enough to make me go there specifically to look for a product like this, infact if I ever do purchase something like that from there it is usually on a whim. All is not bad though, they have quite a wide selection of DVD's and music CD's at really competitive prices and I have gone there when on the look out for a new film or CD.
There is an extensive wine section in my local store and if I am going to find a bargain on offer it is here that I usually find it. They recently had my favorite Turning Leaf cabernet Sauvignon at a very reasonable £4.79, a very attractive price.
The have an online service. I haven't used it, I like to see what I am buying before I buy it.
Onto the tills. I find there are an adequate amount of tills at my local store, but they never seem to use them all. The promises made on the television about opening a till if there is one person waiting echo around the store, snatched from the conversations of customers as they grumble in the queues that form around the check out area.
It may just be me, but because of this you never seem to get the same smile, the same cheery hello for the staff at Tesco as you do form the clearly very highly trained staff of my local Morrisons.
I do sometimes get an offer of help with the packing of my shopping, but not all the time and not often enough for me to confidently let hubby wait in the car with the children while I do it all myself. There is a customer service counter, but to be honest the staff there are usually tied up with finding the right CD's for the right boxes and there is often a queue and I haven't the time to wait.
When I have finished my shopping I want to sit down, work out how much money I have left and just take a minute to let the frenzy of the checkout area drift away.
I have to wait until I go home to do this, because there is no café and no restaurant. I
can't even leave the store with a cooked chicken burning in my hands, allowing me to relax in the knowledge that tea is already cooked and I can put my feet up.
It is these little things that make me get in the car and drive that extra ten minutes down the road to my local Morrisons store to do my weekly shop. The little extra choices, those ready cooked luxuries, those time saving necessities are what make me choose Morrisons over Tesco. That and the fact that Morrisons have toilets in case one of the kids gets taken short while I am attempting to fill my sad and empty cupboards.
So you see in my opinion Tesco is falling behind the times and turning my local store into a 24 hr option has only meant that there is more chance of a product not being on the shelf the next day when I need it desperately.
Morrison's do not offer a club card as Tesco do, and I have to admit that the one point per pound spent is a good deal, but I gladly give it up in return for better service and more choice.
My overall opinion, I use Tesco if I need a loaf or a pint of milk, but if I am after something special, or need to do a full shop, Morrisons is my choice. Tesco are now playing catch up.
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