Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Cambridge Shopping

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In the never ending pursuit of finding poor shops in Cambridge, yesterday brought up a new candidate Marks and Spencer. Of course I was already frustrated as I had already been into another store, only to be able to browse (as English law dictates that shops can only sell goods for 6hrs maximum, shops often open early – but can’t sell you anything !).
So, here’s the carnage…
Having to pay a deposit for a shopping trolley
I remember this in poor areas in Glasgow in the 1980’s – surely Cambridge hasn’t got that bad that a £1 deposit will actually deter people from stealing a trolley ?

I think it might deter you if your average weekly income is something like £65.46 (my guess at what statutory benefits are these days since I don’t read the Daily Mail I don’t believe the unemployed live in castles). But surely not in Cambridge ?
What really annoyed me was that I didn’t have the necessary change and so had to ask someone at the checkouts to break a £20 note. He obliged, but then some silly supervisor (clearly someone promoted based on time served) gave him a hard time for doing so (something about forged notes). I wasn’t in the mood to give her a dressing down (with the benefit of hindsight something to the effect of a schoolchild having a better concept of customer service would have sufficed) so just walked off cursing.
No onions in sight (or in stock)
And of course the obligatory out of stock item….

This time, stable British produce – Red Onions. How can you be out of stock something like that ? Well, I guess I should be lucky they had potatoes. It never amazes me how utterly crap this Marks and Spencers is though (actually if I recall it is earmarked for closure). What I find funny about the UK is that you always have plenty of junk food in stock (like crisps, chocolate etc.), but anything remotely healthy is always subject to being out of stock anywhere apart from Tesco’s. You often feel like you are trying to buy a Pineapple in a Moscow Corner shop in the 1970’s !
People often question why Tesco is the market leader in supermarkets and have such a successful business. Part of the answer is simple – always have what people want to buy in stock !

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