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14 Reviews

Retail and Coffee Shop Combined

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    14 Reviews
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      04.07.2009 14:57
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      An innovative shopping experience

      I think Tchibo is a shop that came up with an original and good idea- is it a coffee shop that's sells product or a product shop that sells coffee? I think the answer is both- I know one store that has no seating and the coffee is just take away only. I know another that has seating both inside and out and offers edible goodies as well as drinks, where the products seem secondary. The other very clever move that this German company has made is by having the products on sale for one week only- every Wednesday the products are all new- so buy it or lose it- the shopper who says "that's nice I might think about getting one of those"- soon learns that they haven't got that thinking time- come back the same time next week it will definitely be gone, Chances are even if you come back later in the week, the most popular items will be sold out- people have learnt to make up their mind on sight. They have themed weeks- so one week might be children's clothes, the next kitchen items, the next outdoor pursuits, followed by bedroom linens. There is a small catalogue so you can see what is coming up in future weeks and you can also check out the offers and order online. But none of those clever ideas would work if the products were not good quality and I think they are- I have bought kitchen products, stationery items, jewelry and lighting from the store over the years and they are all still working and looking fine. All good value items. They have more expensive items as well bikes, prams, and the laptop I am currently working on was a Tchibo purchase. At the time of writing you get a free coffee with every purchase - you don't have to have it at the time- but can go back and have at your convenience. Pop in and see what you think, many is the week I do that and there is nothing I want - but then I go back another week and purchases are made!

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      19.06.2009 22:11
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      LOVELY SHOP INTERESTING AND VARIED ITEMS ON SALE.

      Tchibo Some of you may wonder what 'Tchibo' is. It is a string of shops owned by a German company. They offer great quality clothes and other random goods and offer a free cup of quality coffee with each purchase. If you want to take a look at the web it is tchibo.com. The items are always top quality and have to go through stringent checks before they pass the test. I would consider the quality equal to M&S and much better than primark. The prices are extremely competitive. One thing to note is that they are forever changing the products they sell so if you see something grab it. I have bought lots of things in the store which includes a top quality quilt for £14 double size. Numerous t shirts and polo shirts, cycling clothes, running clothes all types of sports jackets, running socks, underwear, candles, gardening items, you name it and Tchibo will sell it at sometime or another. You are offered a coffee or hot chocolate when you have made your purchase. Some of the shops have a seating area some don't so it can be awkward to drink it if no seating. I recently bought canvases and acrylic paints from them and they are amazing value at £12 for the canvases and about the same price for the paint set, which included the wooden box which turned into a desk easle. The staff at my local branch are friendly and helpful. They will always check the stock room if the product is no longer on the shelf. Great shop and I always visit it everytime I am town. One of the best shops around as different because the products are forever changing.

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        15.11.2008 15:17
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        It's a test of your self-control and ability to discriminate when shopping!!

        It's not exacty a pleasure to wander around a Tchibo store - I'm quite short and I covered the shop in about 5 strides. When there are more than 5 people shopping around then you're in each other's armpits (trying to get to the products) or breathing down other people's necks. You can't open up the products to take a look which means disaster... when you get home and discover it isn't quite right do you bother to take it back? The goods are low in price, so do you bother to return it for a few quid?!? Or do you have a special Tchibo cupboard at home for goods that you meant to return a few months ago but haven't yet got around to it? Then a year later you're just stuck with it, or else it becomes a recycled Christmas gift? Be selective at Tchibo regardless of price. Really consider before you buy. Advice: I tend to use Tchibo as a trial and error place e.g. skiwear, do I like skiing enough to invest? Go to Tchibo get some cheap gear and find out. Often cheap stuff can mean cheap in quality not just pounds, but not at Tchibo... this is where it comes into its own. For skiing I don't want to compromise too much as, for me, skiiwear also means safety wear too (it's Recco system), but it needs to be comfortable enough to be sporty and fashionable enough for me want to wear it, as well as have technology e.g. moisture-wicking systems, breathability and temperature regulation... that's a lot to ask. So, for the prices on offer at Tchibo, the goods aren't made to last. But what more do you want?

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        17.10.2008 11:29
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        An excellent shop which is always new and evolving.

        I first discovered Tchibo about a year ago. I was looking for birthday gifts and thought I would have a look in there. What a wonderful shop and full of unusual items many of them at bargain prices. It is a German chain so expect high quality. Each week the stock changes and has a different theme and generally what happens is that the new weekly display is in the window and towards the front of the store, and then as you move round the items from previous weeks are in well marked out sections. The great thing is that as the collections move round the store they are often discounted so you get a chance to buy them later on for reduced prices. The first time I went in there I bought a beautiful sunny yellow neck pillow for travelling. It is so soft and cosy and it even has its own yellow carry bag. When I went to pay the assistant said "would you like a free coffee?" I was amazed- this is a permanent offer so if you go and spend anything in the store which is not edible you get a free drink. You can even choose what you would like and they serve their own coffee which you can purchase for very reasonable prices as well. I was even served at my table. There is the bonus of a free chocolate as well. The coffee isn't as hot as maybe I would like but I have solved this by asking for hot milk to go with it. If you haven't got time to have your free drink you can have your receipt marked and you can return to the store at a later date. Sometimes I do this for a couple of weeks so I can take my husband in with me for a Saturday morning coffee which is lovely! I would also like to mention that they do wonderful mixed boxes of little chocolates which are excellent value and are often buy one get one free. These make excellent presents too. The website is an ever changing delight you can visit it at www.tchibo.co.uk and if you sign up to their newsletter you can discover all the new things coming in each week and you can even pre-order them. I have had several orders with them and have been impressed with the delivery times and packaging. I did have to return an item recently which was faulty but this was handled superbly by the customer service staff. What is great about this shop is that there is always something new and the bargains are really great. Recently I bought a pure cotton single duvet cover for £5 which really only cost £3.50 because I was pampered with a free coffee! Its a great place for household items, clothes, tools and decorative items and many ranges reflect moods, places, and life events. In conclusion I would say it is one of my favourite places to shop and if you haven't been there try it. Just one word though about the free coffee. To enjoy it at its best I would go at a quiet time as it does get busy and most of the stores only have a small coffee area. All together a great shop.

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        15.10.2008 18:02
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        An innovative store selling ever changing stock of great qulity at great prices!

        I am a self confessed Tchibo addict!! I feel the need to stand up and tell the world..... i justlove this shop!! I know not everyone 'gets' Tchibo and gets frustrated that the window displays and stock changes on a regular basis... but that is exactly what i love about the place. I discovered Tchibo on another website when i was looking for a dehumidifier and someone recomended the store as they had a bargain one currently in stock... back then to me it was just an internet store where i could buy great stuff. Imagine my glee then, when a branch opened on my high street!! I am afraid i get the weekly newsletter so that i know in advance what to expect of the weekly stock and display and i love it!!I have had so many Tchibo bargains and the quality of the items I have bought has always been excellent (and backed by their well advertised no quiblle money back gauruntee). Tchibo is quite simply a fantastic store.... and that's from the mouth (or keybaord) of an addict!!

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        22.08.2008 20:44
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        Good quality, low prices

        Tchibo is a German store which primarily sells coffee, but like its counterparts Lidl and Aldi, has weekly "specials" it sells which range from clothing to furniture. I have only recently become familiar with the Tchibo range as there are no stand alone stores in Scotland. I vaguely recall seeing the stores when I lived in London but as I don't drink coffee, I never went in! This changed when a new Sainsbury's store opened near to where I live last year and they carried some of the Tchibo range. I was looking for new bed linen and was taken by a 100% cotton duvet set for the rather brilliant price of £19.99 which I snapped up. I have learned from visits to Germany in the past that Germans do not like cheap tat and the quality of the bed linen reinforced that view - it was made of thick, good quality cotton and it washed and ironed beautifully. I made a point of checking out the Tchibo aisle whenever I went to Sainsburys and have even purchased a pair of heavy duty kitchen scissors in there too - once again excellent quality and only cost me £4. Tchibo products are also available online however, on www.tchibo.co.uk and you can sign up for weekly e-mails from them announcing what new offers they have each week. What I particularly like about the website however is the fact you can see what is going to be instore the following week, and even order early if you want to. The website is easy to use and clothing is available in a variety of sizes. Womenswear is generally available in sizes S (10-12). M (14-16) and L (18-20). Childrenswear is available up to age 13-14 but not every item is available in every size. I recently placed an order online with Tchibo for clothing as my local Sainsburys tends to have a very limited range of Tchibo clothing instore. Ordering was straightforward and delivery costs £4.95, which is a little steep I feel. However I would add that if you are registered with Tchibo they do periodically send you discount and free shipping codes which can be very useful. My package arrived within a week of ordering - not really quick but I was aware when I ordered that this would be the case. I placed another order for a "next week" item a couple of days ago and the website clearly stated before I ordered that items would take 2 weeks to arrive - fair enough I feel as they have warned me. I was delighted with the quality of the items I ordered. I paid £22 for 2 pairs of trousers and one top and felt I got a really good deal. Returns are straightforward too if, unlike myself, you do not like what you bought, or it does not fit. Tchibo use UPS for deliveries and returns and all you have to do is call UPS to make an appointment for a driver to come and pick up your parcel. The driver will issue you with a receipt to prove the item has left your possession. The only downside I have noticed in the entire Tchibo online store is that you have to be careful - some items can sell out in the "next week" phase so if you spot something you really like it's a good idea to buy it immediately as it might not come back into stock. I would highly recommend the Tchibo shopping experience whether it be via their store or their website - I feel they offer quality products which offer excellent value for money. Sadly, as of June 2009, the Tchibo range is no longer available in my local Sainsbury's store.

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          31.07.2006 05:54
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          Good money back policy - but complete tat!

          It seems to me that these shops are popping up everywhere. My wife used to shop there a lot until I basically put a stop to it! Now before all the women start telling me what a sexist pig I am etc.. it was nothing like that. It was just that our kitchen was starting to clutter up with... well tat! Little gadgets that were used once were strewn all over the house. The sort of items you used to find at the back of the Sunday papers... 3-in-1 - Tea Maker, TV Remote and Back Scratcher... well you get the idea! What made it worse is she used to buy the coffee too... well I like my nice cup of Nescafe.. and well this just tasted awful.. really sour.. almost like coffee when you pour burning hot water over it without adding the milk first. I understand the company is German, and having checked out both the UK and German websites.. they must be laughing at our expense. The products are usually different - and I am sure they offload all the tat to the UK shops! The only godsend is that they have a no quibble money back policy.. so even a cpl of years after the purchase they will hand the money over if not happy.. so I am going to fill a box with all the Tchibo tat around the house and take it back to the nearest store - and will probably have enough for a deposit on a new car :) If you have more money than sense the shop is ideal for you as they change the stock weekly.. but rather than waste that money.. put a cpl of quid in the charity box the nice lady is usually shaking somewhere close by!

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            03.04.2006 18:18
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            A shop where you should not be surprised at what you can buy there

            The Tchibo shop has just opened near us. My first impression was that I could not work out what type of shop it was! By the name I did presume that it was full of Jananese items or weird and wonderful gadgets! It was both and more. Every week this shop changes what it sells. It has a collection of top quality products every week based on a different theme. When the items are sold that is it. So if you go in the next week there is a good chance that you will not find them again. For children I have seen clothes, rucksacks, bedding, toys, puzzles and even for £44 a unicycle. I know a lot of Mums probably look high and low for things such as ballet shoes and would never guess to look in this shop for them! I have also seen some wonderful gagets such as clocks with no batteries, you know the kind of thing. As Easter is coming this does seem to be their theme of the moment. So there is all kinds of crockery, cooking utensils and Easter eggs. A lot of "bunny" items such as bunny tealight holders for around £4, bunnies to hang on shelves, cupboards over the stairs etc and not just one but two for £1.99 One of my favourite items in the easter selection are the egg cosies for £3.50 for 4. They have a bunny face and ears but look more like humpty dumpty. I know children will love these. You know some supermarkets sell items like coffee makers, tea pots, hand mixers, toasters very reasonably now well this shop does as well. It is a shop where you can go in and browse and no one minds. It has a very collection of coffee pots and perculators and you can even get a good cup of coffee here but there are no chairs to sit on! If the whole family go in you will find that everyone will find something here that will interest them. Everything is very reasonably priced, and of very good quality. I do actually wonder how they can afford to do it at such good prices! One thing that you must remember is not to hesitate as if you do as I do sometimes thinking that no I will get that some other time, then thats an error as when you go back next time there seems to be a whole new section of items and not the one you want. I would certainly recommend this shop as it is good service, they dont mind if you take anything back, they are very child friendly and better still there is that chance that they have that item that you have spent ages looking for and never ever thought of looking in there for it.

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              15.12.2005 01:44
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              Good value for money but fast stock turnover

              I have no idea why Tchibo is in the category of resturants/coffee shops as it is mainly a retail outfit who sell coffee as a sideline. In fact the majority of the Tchibo shops don't have anywhere you can actually sit down and drink coffee particularly if they are placed in Somerfield stores. I first noticed Tchibo when I needed some Snowboarding gear last year after that I have brought toys, pans, silver earings and miscellanous products from the shop. I have brought things both online or at it's own shops. Tchibo delivers a new collection of goods every Wednesday for example one week they will do kids toys, then the next week they will do kitchen equipment and the week after that they will do woman's ski wear. Website- The website www.tchibo.co.uk is laid out so that that week's collection is in the middle of the page. Any item that is sold out has a graphic which states "sold out" over it. At the top of the screen are tabs, if you click on the tab you are taken to a page displaying that collection which is from a previous week so you can buy from that week if the goods have not sold out. You add items to your basket by clicking on the picture of the item choosing the item size if applicable and then clicking add to basket. You can then pay for your items and you get a confirmation email. Emails- If you shop on-line you automatically get subscribed to the weekly emails unless you choose to opt out. These emails give you an idea of what is going to be instore that week. However I noticed that in the past month I am getting these emails after stock has sold out online. Catalogue- If you buy online you will get posted to you the tchibo catalogue. The catalogue contains on the products available in store and online plus one or two items you can only get via the catalogue. I normally browse the catalogue and if I want something place an order on line. Delivery- Delivery is done by courier and they give a time of 14 days. The cost is £3.95. Delivery is normally much quicker than those 14 days and goods usually arrive in 7. The courier seems to have some commonsense and bothers to ring door bells. Returns- Returns of online or catalogue order is done by courier. Shop- The shops I have been in are small and crowded due to the number of people snapping up a bargin. Sometimes the shops contain things that have sold out online and vice versa. The staff at the shops are friendly and don't seem to have a problem in finding more stock in the stock room or sorting out returns. Summary- The items that tchibo sell are excellent value for money and some of the products cannot easily be found elsewhere on the UK high street. pros- -good value for money -some unique products -quicker delivery then stated -friendly staff in shop cons- -fast turnover of stock -emails arriving after stock sold out -small shop space Rating- 5 out of 5 for value for money 5 out of 5 for customer service 4 out of 5 for delivery 4 out of 5 for website

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                04.11.2005 20:40
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                I love Tchibo!

                Since my local Somerfield store started having a Tchibo section, my food bill has gone up just about every week because I now buy Tchibo stuff at the same time! It's a brilliant idea - sell items for one week only then change the stock. This means that you have to buy the goods right there and then. If you go back the next day it may have sold out. You can always return items if you think you've been a bit hasty, but the stuff is so brilliant I've never taken anything back. All the electrical items look good - sleek and modern, are easy to operate and work very well. Clocks, coffee machines, torches, radio-alarms are all well-designed and better than leading brands. Tchibo (branded TCM) sell a lot of kitchen gadgets, such as you might find in a doorstep catalogue. The difference is TCM items actually do what they're supposed to do and do not break and are cheaper too. Apart from the electrical items and kitchen stuff, I've bought clothes, sandals, side-tables, pillows, foot massager... My house has more Tchibo stuff it than any other make! Some things are not sold in my Somerfield, but I've seen items in the catalogue, on the website or in the weekly e-mail that they send me, that I want. I have bought on-line 4 times so far and the goods always arrive safely by courier and well within the timescale given. I'm about to put in another order. I had a shelf unit delivered and it was a good price and well-made. Every screw was present and the whole thing went together well. Normally when you buy flat-packed furniture, if there's an item missing or damaged you have to take or send the whole thing back and get a replacement. Tchibo will send you the missing part to save you (and them) the hassle. Brilliant! Though of course, being a German company, everything is so well-made and efficiently packed, there's never been a problem with anything I've bought! You get a discount if you buy £125 worth of stuff in a 6 month period on-line and by phone. After my next purchase I'll be there! I'll then have that discount for 6 months, I think. I am all excited now because in 2 weeks time a Tchibo shop and coffee bar is opening in my town! Can't wait! It may have some of the items that my Somerfield doesn't stock. I've been to another Tchibo shop and the cappuccino and cake were yummy. Go to www.tchibo.co.uk now, but leave some items for me!

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                  24.08.2004 22:43
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                  What is Tchibo? No it?s not a new sexual position from The Tantric Sex Manual. It?s not a Japanese word for sneeze either. What this means is SHOPPING. Oh I love that word, sometimes better than sex itself (I did say sometimes incase hubby reads this). Tchibo came to London in 1991, a relatively new concept idea. Its pioneer is Marc Hertz and he started it all in 1951. It originally was just a coffee shop but has since introduced coffee, cake and shopping. It made its mark in Europe big time before heading here and its origins ( whoops I nearly typed oranges then) came from Switzerland. To describe its way of shop in a few words is basically a smaller version and speedier version of Ikea without the meatballs. Tchibo have shops in many major towns now and its catalogue is becoming widely spread. The catalogue is available in any Tchibo coffee shop (by the front door) and is free to take. They change their goods for sale each week and every month produces a new book. Basically if there is something you like the week you see that magazine, get it. By week 2 I doubt if its there. I made that mistake by buying one fleece blanket in my Uxbridge store, I couldn?t struggle with two blankets. When I get it home I loved it, it was huge and squidgy, just how a fleece blanket should be. I thought right I?ll have some more of that and rang the hotline the next day. They were sold out! My reply was ?Oh you are joking? and I said it in a jovial tone. Mrs Bucket on the end replied, ?Sorry madam, we don?t joke?. Oh excuse me love, get yourself a personality next time you wake up. So that proves my point, they sell out quick. The home shopping magazine is also their website, its almost identical. Incase you are tempted to stop reading my review (don?t forget to rate me) and skip to the website, its www.tchibo.co.uk. Don?t just put Tchibo in the search engine; it will come up in German and Euro?s. The catal ogues is about 71 pages and the website is more like a shopping list. The bonus of ordering by the website is that it tells you if the goods are still in stock. If they sell out forget it. You wont get another chance. September?s shopping items are pretty good and once I finish with this, I will place an Internet order for err well over £100. So what am I buying for that? Ok here goes: Mind, Body and Soul section: magnetic bracelet @ £4.99 Why buy that? Well I?ve never tried magnets and I?m a sucker for Ideal World and they always rant over how good magnetic therapy is. It?s probably a load of crap but I want to be able to test it and say yes ?Its good? or ?Its Crap?. Next, it?s the body fat scales at £29.90. Now this isn?t bad price wise. Body mass index fat thingy scales costs upwards of £50. This set actually stores the BMI of 10 people as well, the other version stores only 4. I have 5 in this house so I need this set. It might scare me into sticking to my diet if I can actually see how much fat is inside. I can see it outside but you turn a blind eye when eating that last bit of chocolate. Showing me on readout will scare me I hope and it also shows how much water is in your body. Not bad eh. I know I drink enough water so I?m not worried about that, but I am curious about the BMI. There are small silver plates that you stand on that measure just how fat you really are. Oh and they weigh you too. In the Saddle Up in Style section, there is a jacket I want to buy my 7 year old. Its £7.00 and its storm proof, waterproof, has a hood and illuminating strips for those dark winter evenings on the way home from school. I think that beats Matalan doesn?t it? The In My Way Of Life is a letterbox and paper box, the wall-mounted variety with a key. Its in chrome and it can withstand this British weather brilliantly, all for £19.99. I am just about to move and my new house doesn?t have one of these. Why do I feel the need to have one I hear you ask? Well I hope to buy a Labrador or Retriever for the new house, so incase the bundle of joy wants to eat my letters, I can train the postie to place them in my new chrome box. In the same section is a weatherproof lantern to match the chrome box. This is £14.00 and looks the business. I can?t have my new neighbours slagging me off for having tacky gear. Ok so its just under £100, not bad for that lot though. What would you pay in B and Q for a letter box? I can tell you as I bought a black one last year at £39.00 and it?s the same style. The paint has since cracked off and the key has got stuck. Needless to say I?m leaving it here for the new owner. To order you can do it by the Internet as I already said. By phone on 08701 605 606 ? national rate so don?t talk too long By Fax 08701 626 363 Or by using the postal form always enclosed inside. This way you cannot guarantee stocks and you could be left disappointed. I have always used the Internet apart from the one occasion with the fleece blanket. The phone was answered promptly but abruptly. Poor woman needed some meatballs that day. As for returns well you can return anything except opened packets of coffee within 14 days. It?s at a cost to you and postage for delivery is £3.50 no matter what the size your order. I have never returned anything, as all the goods have been perfect so I cannot comment too much on the customer service side. I know you have to call Tchibo to arrange a collection note request but as for prompt refunds, well I don?t know. If I have to return my fat scales I will tell you how I get on. They have a bonus scheme, bit like a loyalty scheme but I don?t order weekly to even worry about that. Other than the blanket hiccup, I cannot fault the Tcbibo experience. It?s easier to order online and ignore the shop completely. The coffee they serve in the shop is like tar and the cake is kack, well the Uxbridge one anyway. Hence I use home shopping all the time now. Better go and order my scales before they sell out. Wonder if I will loose any weight? I expect the only pounds that fall off will be in my purse. Thanks for reading. xxx

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                    31.03.2004 21:18
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                    I have bought lots of things from Tchibo on the phone and online in the past few months. The quality has always been outstanding and the prices unbelievably low for what you get. The stuff is all branded TCB - Tchibo's own make - but I think it must be made by top manufacturers. I have seen clones of what I have bought in the shops for twice the price I paid and more. There is an ever changng eclectic mix of products for sale. The best stuff does sell out so you have to be quick somethimes. If you subscribe to the magazine you get to see stuff before it goes on the website. But on the website you can browse for anything that they may have in stock from past magazines as well. I suspect a link between Tchibo and Aldi as a lot of the same looking stuff turns up in both places. They are both originally German companies so maybe that is the only connection. Anyway, if you lke Aldis and trust the quality of their stuff you will be right on the button with Tchibo without the long queues and the baked beans and cheap cider. I had a few hiccups with customer service a few months ago but they seem to have sorted their systems out and everything has gone very smoothly since.

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                      24.06.2002 19:17
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                      This was my first thought when I first saw the new Tchibo coffe shop in Oxford. At the moment Oxford seems to be swamped by trendy coffee shops selling very expensive coffee. But Tchibo is definitely not just another bl***y coffee shop. Tchibo has an extremely clever marketing advantage over its rivals for not only does it sell very nice coffee but it also sells consumer articles and changes the range of products every Wednesday. On my first visit I was very impressed with the quality and prices of the goods on offer. I discovered that each week they introduce new products with a different theme and realised that in order to be sure to get the bargain I could not think about it but had to buy it while it was on offer. The week I went the theme was children's trendy leisure clothes and sporting goods. I came away with a super outfit for my 10 year old grandson which included 3 T shirts for £6, baggy trousers £6 and a versatile jacket. I was a bit worried that he wouldn?t like it because it wasn't Nike or Man U but, reassured by the unconditional money back guarantee, I risked it. There was no problem he thought the outfit was cool and as far as he is concerned TCM, their brand name, is a fashion statement. He now nags my daughter to check out Tchibo regularly to see if they have some more good stuff. That day they also had a special offer on some nice contemporary silver jewellery so I treated myself to some of that too. I can't remember how much I spent in total but I remember I was offered a free cup of coffee as a result of spending a certain amount. Each week Tchibo bring out a catalogue detailing the following weeks offers and giving a preview of what is coming. The current offer is mainly ladies microfibre underwear and beauty products but they also have some household products and a mountain bike. Next Wednesday they will have bedroom products, the following week baby clothes and gifts and 10th July will be house hold products. They also have regular special offers so, for example, there was a buy one get one free offer on the underwear the day I went. So far I have bought a gorgeous outfit for my granddaughter, scarves and sandals for me. The quality of the products seems excellent especially considering the extremely reasonable prices. They offer an unconditional guarantee and a 3 year warranty on technical products. The style of most products and fashions is what I would describe as modern European focusing on clean cut lines and simplicity. Tchibo is fairly new to England but is a well established company in Germany. It was founded in Hamburg way back in 1949 and now has more than a thousand coffee bars and thousands more in store outlets. For much of its history it was just a coffee specialist but has now branched out into consumer products. The Tchibo coffee is the most popular in Germany and a couple of other European countries and although not yet a household word here it is apparently well established in the catering industry. The coffee shop offers a nice range of coffees and fresh fruit juices with a few appetising snacks but I'm afraid it is the bargains that tempt me more than the coffee. Tchibo do have a UK web site tchibo.co.uk but it is not really worth visiting as it hardly has any information at all (but for you compo freaks it does have a competition). It doesn't even have a list of the UK branches. Tchibo.com has a bit more information but a few bugs. Unfortunately clicking on the online shop link takes you to tchibo.de where the information is all in German. However the current products are all illustrated, priced in euros, but if you want to see the sort of things that Tchibo sell it is worth a visit. Tchibo opened its first UK store in 2000, had 12 more in 2001 and now has 28 branches. I have no doubt that there are many more on the way. At the moment they all seem to be in the south but I thoro ughly recommend a visit if you are near one. They are located at: Banbury, Bognor, Bromley, Colchester, Croydon, Ealing, Eastbourne, Eastleigh, Edgware, Enfield, Harrow, Hemel Hempstead, Hounslow, Ilford, Islington, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Richmond, Romford, Slough, Southampton, Southend, Stratford, Surrey Quays, Sutton, Uxbridge, Wimbledon, Woking.

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                        09.11.2001 05:18
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                        This is a VERY rare occurrence for me – writing about a retail outlet that doesn’t purport to sell “boy’s toys”, and hot on the heels of my Clarks Village op too, whatever next? Is our hero weakening or is he a closet shopper. No, I’m just weakening due to plummeting caffeine levels! So there I was the other morning, coming out of Hounslow’s Treaty Centre shopping mall, when all at once I spied a name I recognised that wasn’t there before, that of Tchibo, the German coffee importers, AND it was over a coffee shop, to boot. Well, I say “coffee shop”, as one of its windows was full of clothing displays, like leather jackets and shoes. Curiosity got the better of me and I went in. “Curiouser and curiouser”, there were displays of office goods like staplers, desk-top clocks and letter racks, not to mention stainless steel kitchen ware and bedding. Then there was the microwave oven in stainless steel (£79), and all for sale too! Blinking to check that I had come in through the right door, I confirmed that there was indeed a counter purveying coffee as well. So there you have it, Tchibo Coffee-Shopping - a sort of “Starbucks Meets The Innovations Catalogue”, or should that be “Spendbucks” perhaps? Looking around at the goods for sale, you realise that TCM must be the Tchibo own-brand logo, as everything’s marked with it. In a slightly downmarket sort of way, everything looks as if it was styled by Braun, with a lot of satin metal finishes. I did actually buy something - an A4 laminator for encapsulating A4 sheets in clear plastic. Being an office item, these are normally horrendously expensive, so I thought that £22.95 was a snip. My wife also bought a rather nice quartz watch in stainless steel for less than £11. They are both backed by a no-quibble money-back 2-year guarantee, so you can’t say fairer than that. Is there a catch? Well, every Wednesday, certain items are removed from sale, and replaced by others, featured in a weekly catalogue, so if you see something you want, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be there next week. I asked a member of staff to see if they knew which items were being removed from sale, but she couldn’t or wouldn’t say, but politely though. Coupled with the jolt from one of their “damned fine cups of coffee”, this is enough to make any “retail therapist” edgy. Next week features those watches that set themselves to an international radio beacon for around £20, and a twin-deck CD-Writer-Player for £199. Cynics would say that this is a formula to get you to go there every week. Well, WAKE UP and SMELL the (Tchibo) coffee! Of course it is. Whether it was an opening week offer or not, we got two free cups of their “damned fine coffee” as part of our purchase, a large sized cappuccino for me and a large black for my wife. Mine was indeed fine, but my wife likes coffee that can fight back, and on her Beaufort scale, it wasn’t full storm-force. Having had a large coffee about 10 minutes before in Debenhams, we’ve been a bit hyperactive today, and for my part, I’ve been taking out my aggressions on whacking staples into flooring-grade hardboard! But hey, it was free! The laminator works fine, and I’ve used up the included sample pack of pouches by waterproofing my notes for my part-time work, which is largely outdoor, and also the recipes for our bread-maker – paper ones don’t last long on a kitchen work-top when they’re used every week. There are several Tchibo branches, and I suspect there will be more if this formula takes off. The current ones are Hounslow, Ealing, Croydon, Edgeware, Enfield, Ilford, Romford, Slough, Sutton and Wimbledon. None “north of Watford” yet I& #8217;m afraid, so you’ll have to wait a bit longer to be parted with your money. Verdict – Good coffee, good deals, but catch ‘em when you can! As the water rat said after his rabbit fiancée left him for a hare, “a vole and his bunny are soon parted”.

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