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More Bargainfoods than Farmfoods - shopping for every budget
Member Name: 9217niall
Date: 03/05/10, updated on 03/05/10 (290 review reads)
Advantages: Low prices, 300+ stores, well laid out, clean
Disadvantages: Staff need more sense, some food is tacky
Having had to drag my heels around various shops with my mother when I was younger, I do have to visit this store nowadays so I thought I'd share my experiences.
For the past 12 months or so, I've had various leaflets through my letterbox that tell you all the latest offers but (most importantly) on the back, there are 4 money of vouchers. (2 x £2.50 off a £25 spend, 2 x £5 off a £50 spend) The offers that come through are generally top notch; for example you could get 2 loaves of Hovis bread for £1.50 and I *think* you can get 2x 4pint milk for £1. I've found that items sold at Farmfoods are generally lower in price than other stores; great if you're on a budget!
The stores I've been into are laid out in the same way; rows of freezers with shelving just above to provide easy access to the products available. Within the freezers you'll find a vast array of different food products to buy. Some are definitely more appetising than others - in the food sense and in the money sense. From the outside, all the stores look the same, with the traditional 'Farmfoods' logo displayed boldly on the front of the store. Floors and freezers are kept clean and well maintained.
I am quite impressed with the selection of food you can buy from Farmfoods. From cheese to chips, soft drinks to sweetcorn, there's a range of items for you to choose from. Some of the products may be 'own brand' style products and others from leading names in the food industry. For example, there is usually a selection of pizzas on offer, from Chicago Town to Dr Oetker. Vastly reduced in price, many items are available at a price that is unrivalled by nearly all of the major supermarkets. I believe that the frozen selection is brilliant and that they are one of the best 'low cost' frozen stores, possibly on par with Iceland.
They do sell food products other than those that are frozen. If you've a sweet tooth, I'd try to resist all the tempting treats that can tantalise your taste buds. I've previously purchased a Pepsi Cola 12 pack before. Although it maintained my sugar fix, my dentist wasn't too happy about it. There are a few different sorts of crisps and chocolate biscuits on the shelves too. A box of ice cream wafers and cones sit at the end too. If cereals are your thing, then these can be purchased too, lower than the RRP. An array of condiments sit on the shelf, filling in the gaps in various places throughout the store.
The store has a relaxed and airy feel, with no loud or vulgar music being played. It's great if you've had a bad day - gently push your trolley around, picking up your bargains.
Farmfoods is an excellent company and employs some excellent staff. However, some of them don't seem too enthusiastic to help out the consumer. On the whole I'm happy with the level of service I have received in the stores I've visited but they could improve on team work - this I will talk about in a moment.
There are a few negatives to Farmfoods though. Firstly, you don't know what's going to be in stock. It seems, from my experiences and interactions with this store, that it's a bit hit and miss as to what will be there. Secondly, there never seems to be enough till staff. Take last Saturday for example: there was 1 till open, with 2 closed and a queue of 7 or 8 different paying customers. Three members of the Farmfoods team dotted around the store, with one practically at the end of the queue, looked on aimlessly. Now I don't know about you, but if it was me, a little bit of initiative would suggest that opening another till, even if temporarily, would clear the backlog. The result? One cashier trying to serve all the customers as quickly as she could. A bit pathetic in my eyes and I hope this was just a one off.
The website (www.farmfoods.co.uk) is pretty useless in my opinion. It provides no details of products, latest offers or any special notices we should take. You can, however, search for your nearest local store; thought I suspect it's not needed as they have over 300 stores across the UK. There is also a careers page where you can search for vacancies and there are a fair few at the minute. Unfortunately I cannot tell you how the recruitment process works as I'm sure my CV never got further than the person I handed it to!
To summarise, I generally like the layout and as they have wide aisles, they're easy to navigate. The Farmfoods team has a bit to work on in terms of offering top notch customer service, but I'd say they're making progress. I would recommend this shop to anyone who wants to save a few pounds here and there. I would say that, although you could get most of your weekly shop done here, you'd still need to visit a supermarket to pick up a few more essentials.
All in all, a good store with some great items with lower prices than you'd pay in major supermarkets.
*If there are areas you believe I could improve on, or you have a suggestion for a topic I could incorporate into this review, then feel free to message me or leave a comment*
Thank you for taking the time to read my review. If you've got a bit of time on your hands, take a peek at my other reviews. I'll always try to rate back too! 
Summary: If you're looking for food on a budget, Farmfoods is your place