Friday, 22 June 2012

Why Tesco lose customers

Despite it being in the most convenient spot in town, with the biggest free car parking area enabling you to walk up into town for other shopping, we have finally forsaken Tesco for grocery shopping for 99% of what we need.  OH still gets his lottery ticket there, and occasionally a paper or something we've run out of, but that's it.  We made this decision a few months back, when the final straw landed on this camel's back.  (I am aware that ethically, we should probably have never shopped there, but convenience does count for something.)

 We had divided our shopping needs between Lidl, specific shops in the town and market, and our fruit and veg from the cut-price warehouse at Abergwili for several years now.  We had long been aware of the poor quality of the fruit and vegetables in Tesco and stopped buying from there - we could get the same close-to-use-by quality for pence at Abergwili.  I recall looking for a cucumber in Tesco once, and the entire stock were soft and bendy, which I pointed out to Customer Service . . .  I tried never to buy beanshoots there because they were guaranteed to expire as the clock struck 12 on the use-by day which we always just a couple of days ahead of when you purchased them . . .  (I'm the only one who eats them, so a bit pointless sprouting them at home).  Broccoli was generally more stalk than head, so weighed heavy.  

We tended to try and buy stuff on a sound offer, and didn't have the wool pulled over our eyes by the "special offers" and "reduced from" deals (especially the "half price" wines).  Latterly, when given come-on vouchers for "spend £30 and get £4 off" or "spend £40 and get £5 off" we would spend pretty well exactly that amount, buy only what we couldn't get elsewhere or was on offer so we could stock up (tins etc) and that was it. 

When I was too busy or unwell to make my own bread last year, we fell into the habit of buying their Spelt and Sunflower loaf at £1.40.  I noticed recently that the price has now shot up to £1.80 and the loaf is 2/3 if not HALF of its former size.  Do they really think customers are that stupid they don't notice? Mind you that works with reduced Christmas cards.  I bought some with cats on, allegedly 40p or something, in January.  Got to the counter and they were 70p - "someone" had moved the stock of those beneath the cheaper price as the cheaper cat ones had already sold . . .  A wee bit cute that. 

For a while they did excellent cooking bacon with ordinary rashers included.  They must have sold too well, at the expense of the normal bacon, because one week we turned up to buy some and it had been put through the mincer.  Well, that WAS the final straw and we have spent very little in there since, dividing our allegience between Morrisons and Lidl.

Our middle daughter has been staying for a few days this week, and we bought some stuff in there and got given a spent X and get Y off ticket, so we spent that today - the exact amount with just tuppence over, then £5 off as we had a £1 voucher for washing powder.  On our way round, I noticed some Sweet Williams for £3.  I love them, but I think that was a lot of money for a smallish bunch of flowers.  Then I noticed smaller bunches, "going over" for £1.50.  They were half the size of the bigger bunches - in other words, exactly the same price for flowers a day away from binning . . .  No reduction at all.  A lovely big bunch of fresh Sweet Williams was on offer in Morrisons for . . . £1.50, so I bought mine there.

When we used to shop at Morrisons (until a couple of years back), the car park always used to be half empty.  Now it is nearly always pretty full . . . 


  1. I know what you mean about Tesco veg - I get mine at my local greengrocer who always has lovely fresh stuff from the market each day. The shop has been there forever and belonged to his parents when I first came here.

  2. What a sad comment on Tesco's BB. Have you tried writing to their head office - or sending them your blog entry. I must say that we live near to a very large Tesco on the garrison at Catterick and they give excellent service. I know the young man in charge of Fruit nad Veg and it is taken off each night and sold cheaply to staff members so that it does not go on display the next day. I buy myself their roses - £3 for ten guaranteed for 7 days - sometimes they last for three weeks. I think you do have to look at the so-called 'special offers' very carefully though.

  3. I'm the only one who eats sprouted beans, so I just sprout a tablespoon at a time. We don't have Tesco, but one is threatened, despite over whelming public reaction that one is not needed.

  4. Good for you BB - if not happy, vote with you're feet.

  5. I don't know what Tesco is, is it a big warehouse store like Costco here in California? We buy groceries at several favorite stores, since, like you, we want high quality and reasonable prices. That's good you found some grocery stores that suit you.

  6. Only went in Tesco once here in Chelmsford a couple of years ago, found it dirty and basically it did not appeal, mind you most supermarkets are a sort of hell you have to go through;)

  7. I have never liked Tesco,coming from a Sainsbury shopping family I am now disillusioned with them as well.I would like to shop at Waitrose but cannot always afford to.Morrisons are my sensible favourite,but unfortunately their store is in Norwich so is much more of a chore to visit.Ideally I like to have my order delivered as this is such a saving, but Morrisons do not offer this service.Aldi and Lidl offer great value but you cannot rely on them having what you want,and it costs fuel to go on the offchance.

  8. I abandoned Tesco years ago too. We have a Waitrose in Okehampton for treats and a Co-op pretty close. Amazingly, I find Asda, who will deliver out here on the moor, pretty good for basics. I'll never forget Shirley Porter and the council house thing I'm afraid!

  9. Regardless of location in this world, I think we're all in the same boat - looking for the best quality and the best service for the best prices! If and when I don't receive that, I do just what you did and find the store that will deliver! In this country, they've reduced a full HALF-gallon of ice cream to 1.75 quarts and charge the same for it! Maddening! Also, I need to return to making homemade bread since I'm tired of buying what feels stale long before the "use by" date! ;-)


  10. I hardly shop in Tesco's. When we do, it's a manic stock up on the things we can only get there - wholemeal cous cous, chai and anything that's on offer. I too find that they are shoddy and dirty on the whole. Doesn't help that we usually go there on a Friday night when we've hired a van for the weekend, it's late and there are drug deals going on in the car park.

    There isn't one nearby anyway. Since I have a debit card for NHS staff that gives cash back on purchases from certain stores, that has some influence on where we shop. Sainsburys, Boots and M&S are in the scheme, so most everyday living purchases are covered. We have a small Sainsburys in the estate and a larger one the other side of the station. There's a Waitrose in Enfield too, and I prefer getting vegetables and fish from there. It's not expensive if you know what to look for, and their vegetables are far better quality than anywhere else (we don't have a greengrocers nearby) bar M&S. Oh - and M&S for bread until we get the oven replaced and can get large scale baking underway again.

  11. Our closest local shopping is Wal Mart--the store we love to hate! Quality of produce varies greatly. In summer we grow our own. In town there are two stores--one a
    Sav-a-Lot with strange brands of canned and boxed goods on pallets and an old IGA in the center of town--neither are a good place.
    We go into a Kroger in the next county once per month on the Senior Discount day [10%] off and stock up on cat supplies, laundry detergents and household needs as well as any canned goods on special which we can use.
    Other than that, we run up to the junction [about 4 miles] and snatch up oddments at WM.
    For bulk foods--flour, rolled oats, dried fruit, rice, lentils, and such we make a trip to the Mennonite market about once in three months.

  12. I dislike Tesco too but continue to shop there as cannot afford anywhere else at the moment. I too had a problem with them regarding their gluten free and lactose free range. I was upset at their inconsistency in stocking these items. I wrote to Head Office and got several emails back. It turned out they were basically fobbing me off because nothing changed in the actual store and I now go to Sainsbury's for these items.

  13. Thank you for all your comments. I now prefer to shop at Morrisons, but if only we had a Waitrose nearer than Abergavenny (120 mile round trip!!!) Our nearest Sainsburys, which would be my second choice, is a 50 mile round trip.

    Tesco have shot themselves in the foot, to my mind. They are petty-fogging and their prices alter week by week, and not by a penny or two, but CHUNKS.

    Terra, MM & anyone else Stateside - Tesco is a HUGE chain of BIG grocery stores. They are I thin, the leading supermarket chains in the UK, with 27 per cent of the market. They have nasty little habits like buying up prime land in city centres etc - wherever they would like to put a store - which stops the opposition getting into that spot. So even if they never get planning permission, they have kept others out. From the time a Tesco store muscles into a town, small private high street traders start to suffer, and many go out of business, with subsequent job losses. Tesco also pares to the bone the purchase price of commodities from farmers, who it literally holds to ransom because it has SUCH buying power. If you have grown X number of acres of carrots which Tesco (or I suppose any of the other major supermarkets, if I am fair) have agreed to buy at X amount per kilo, and they come back a few days before your crop is ready and say, oh dear, demand has been slack, we can only pay you Y amount now, you are over the proverbial barrel . . .