Newest Review: ... as Asda's price guarantee which promises to beat their competitors (including Tesco) by 10%. In theory it should therefore be cheaper t... more
Where is a Sainsbury's when you need one?
Member Name: clumsy1974
Date: 23/05/04, updated on 03/06/05 (1063 review reads)
Advantages: Cheaper individual products
Disadvantages: Poor range, Empty shelves
I don?t know about you, but I for one wish Sybil Fawltey had stayed in her hotel in Torquay. Instead, she is advertising Tesco's in every add break between This Morning and re-runs of Prisoner cellblock H at 4am. Really, her words are falling on deaf ears where I am concerned. It?s all lies, and Tesco's is only getting my money because I have no other choice.
So why is a normally mild mannered reviewer like me so anti on particular store? Probably because I have been able to enjoy the relative delights of Sainsbury's, Waitrose and the fantastic independent stores & indoor market of Oxford. Sadly, and for not much longer, my fiancée and I are now living in Andover. Andover is a Tesco's outpost. Granted, there is a Waitrose and a Safeway/Morrisons - but these are fairly small, and pushed aside by the Tesco Metro and the Tesco superstore.
The main problem I have with Tesco is exactly that - a town that has a Tesco superstore, unless it?s at least half the size of London, will only have a Tesco. You are lucky if you actually have a choice in where you go for your weekly food shop. The phenomenon that is this grocery behemoth has meant that more and more towns in the UK are strong holds for the red and blue. This has basically meant that Tesco has been able to paper over its faults, use its sheer might to reduce choice to the consumer and force small, independent retailers into bankruptcy.
Our local store has never failed to disappoint us, and we never fail to come away without what we went in there for. You cant help have a "Shelf is half empty" attitude when wheeling up and down the aisles (I believe Tesco actually won the prestigious honor of having the worst stocked shelves of any Supermarket chain in the
85;K). I am not sure what those Tesco lorries, that hold me up on country lanes are carrying, but it?s not stock for the Andover Tescos. Unlike Sainsbury's, Tesco has ignored the trend towards more interesting flavors and foods. You can buy the whole range of Uncle Ben's sauces, but try and get a jar of Thai Green curry paste, go on, I dare you. Trying to keep the kids off high sugar pop? Oh dear Andoverians - maybe you should get a Soda Stream instead? The final proof that Tesco is a truly useless supermarket came this week. Its been a lovely week or two in the UK (its May after all) and all I fancied for my tea last night was a big bowl of Strawberries. I wandered up and down the fruit and veg aisles (these are in the middle of the store - strange, as most supermarkets have this at the front due to the psychological lift that fresh produce gives shoppers). Could I find Strawberries? Nope. Then I stumbled upon the smallest supply of summer fruit I have ever seen. £2.49 for a tiny punnet, which could be selected from two trays, on one small section of shelf. Its summer time - Strawberries are as much a part of summer in the UK as Wimbledon and getting dumped out of football competitions in the first round.
I prefer to cook from scratch, rather then buy a ready meal or a prepackaged dish. This is where my main animosity towards the big T comes into play. I rarely find a decent bit of beef, good quality fish or a nice bit of lamb. If I need some curry powder, I have to send off for it - or buy the generic looking stuff and hope its not too harsh tasting. I understand that the prices are generally good, and often more competitive than practically all the other Supermarkets. However, I think you end up paying more for prepackaged food, and can often ge
t far better value from the raw ingredients and a bit of effort.
Tesco seems to offer the widest range of Ready Meals, cheap convenience foods and full sugar fizzy pop on the planet, but I can see why Jamie Oliver went with the offer to advertise Sainsbuy's, while the more aggressive Tesco plumped for Basil's acidic Spouse. The problem is, while Sainsbury's slips further behind, and the choice gets smaller (a Tesco near my parents managed to get an extension, despite it putting local smaller stores out of business when it first opened), there is no reason for Tesco to change. In fact, the recent change over of Dillons stores to Tesco Metro means that if the local "corner shop" survives the onslaught, it'll just get brought instead.
Thankfully, my girlfriend has just got a job in Aylesbury. This means that we will be heading North up the A34 in no time. Oxford has a lovely Sainsbury's on the outskirts, a smaller one in the town and a metro style too. Can?t wait!