Sainsbury's - what's happened?

I’ve been brought up shopping at Sainsbury’s. I even served several years there working evenings on the tills and the delicatessen, and during this time I became pretty fond of the company as a whole — though most likely that’s just the adolesecent rose-tinted hue of my hindsight.

After being made redundant from Argonaut and starting my own business, money got tighter and we started shopping at Safeway — now Morrisons. A bit scally, a step down from Sainsbury’s, so we thought at the time. Well, how wrong can you be?

Apart from having to find a poxy quid to release the trolleys at Morrisons, things are pretty good there. The produce is fresh and in abundance, the bread aisle is well-stocked and there’s never a chance of discovering an empty meat counter. But then, what self-respecting supermarket could be found lacking in these respects?

Well, Sainsbury’s. For the last few weeks time has been short, and frankly Sainsbury’s beats Morrison on one count only — being open til 10pm every night. So we’ve been shopping once more under the orange and white signs. I know they had some pretty terrible issues with their failed stock control system, but my understanding was that’s all been fixed. Not so, it’d seem!

Today we discovered a produce area lacking any kind of root vegetable (barring two packs of organic carrots), had only two tired stems of broccoli, only a few tired bananas and even when we found something we might actually buy there was no bloody plastic bags in the bag dispensers. Further along the shopping experience we found the meat section devoid of meat, except for Sainsbury’s suspcious highly-processed burgers. I wish I’d taken some photos — it was pretty bleak. In the tin area it took a while to pick out the tins I actually wanted from the randomly-arranged jumble-sale. The cardboard holder that the tins sat one were left all over the shop too. Thing that’d’ve meant a right old bollocking for the grocery staff back when I worked there.

One surprise was the usually-depleted bread aisle was actually teeming in bread, and was well-arranged! But after that it wasn’t much better — at the kiosk the staff were plainly mucking around and when some bloke had a go at them for doing so they were hardly shining examples of customer service representatives.

Given the amount of advertising they’ve put out recently about their ‘lowered prices’ you’d think they’d actually have some stock to sell. It would appear the stock-control debacle was only the first signs of the cancer that seems be eating away at this once-great company.

We’ll be shopping at Morrison’s next week!

Filed under: Blog
Posted at 22:33:00 BST on 26th July 2005.

About Matt Godbolt

Matt Godbolt is a C++ developer working in Chicago in the finance industry.