In the net: Why I won’t be hurrying back to Sainsbury’s


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The Independent Online

Had enough of tennis? I mentioned last week the excitement of living somewhere that becomes the centre of the world for two weeks a year. Well, I've been reminded of more of the drawbacks in the last few days.

Not only do most of the local businesses hike their prices for Wimbledon fortnight, they are all choc-a-bloc with tennis fans seemingly keen to be fleeced out of all the cash they have.

As I said last week, I understand why businesses cash in, but it's the negative effect on local, regular customers that they completely forget about in their haste to rake in extra profits.

And I'm afraid I have a long memory when it comes to bad service. For that reason I won't be using our local Sainsbury's in any hurry in the future.

The store is one of the so-called “Local” branches, where as much as possible is crammed into the shelves with the convenience of the customer the last thing in the shop designer's mind.

If you want to buy anything in this retail nightmare, you're expected to walk all the way to the back of the store, past shelf after shelf of stuff you have no interest in buying just to get to the till.

I tend to use the store to buy vegetables for that night's meal as the veg counter is right by the front door and next to the tills. I pick up some carrots or brocolli and just cut through to pay (using the self-service tills, of course).

But not this week. To cut down on customer convenience even more, Sainsbury's introduced a new member of staff: an aggressive, burly bloke whose sole job was to stop customers cutting straight through to the tills to avoid having to schlep through the entire store.

The only reason I can fathom for them doing so is the hope that customers get so hungry or thirsty in their long quest to reach the tills that they end up being forced to splash out on even more stuff that they don't really want.

But the net result in my case at least is that Sainsbury's will receive no more of my hard-earned cash, especially after the aggressive and rude behaviour of their staff.

During the last two weeks the store has been rammed. In the next 50 weeks it will be that little bit emptier.

Donald MacInnes' In The Red column returns next week

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