Monday, 15 December 2014

A Year In Supermarkets

With only weeks left of the present year, I thought it was time that I started looking back at some of my shopping experiences for the year, and in particular, what has been happening with the supermarkets.

Tesco were in the news this year for dodgy accounting, which has resulted in a criminal investigation. Now whilst this is serious stuff, and we should theoretically be concerned, as a shopper, I’m more interested in what is actually happening at ‘ground level’ so to speak. All the while I can go into a Tesco store, find what I want at a reasonable price, get good service from the staff and earn valuable Clubcard points I will continue to shop with the chain. They certainly operate the best loyalty scheme around, with points amounting to four times their value when exchanged for days out and Clubcard send out a regular supply of relevant money-off and extra points vouchers too.

Sainsbury’s, on the other hand, announced that they are set to cut the number of Nectar points that you earn on your weekly shop. (Loyalty cards) With their loyalty scheme already offering a poorer deal than the likes of Tesco I don’t think this is a very clever move. They are, however, pledging to cut more prices, so we’ll have to see how all this works out in practice.

Morrisons launched their new ‘Match & More’ card this year, (I want more) an interesting twist on a loyalty card, whereby you earn points on items that you would have been able to buy cheaper elsewhere – a price comparison that includes the likes of Aldi and Lidl as well as the other major supermarkets. What pleased me about this card was that Morrisons offered three options when it came to registering the card – online, by post or in store – a refreshing change from companies that expect you to do everything online!

Asda has never been one of my favourite supermarkets, but they’ve certainly put themselves in the doghouse recently. My daughter placed an online grocery order with them, but the goods never actually materialised (Oh dear Asda) and despite phone calls, completion of an online form, a blog post and a Twitter conversation (which reaps results in most cases) the company failed to properly apologise for the inconvenience, or offer any explanation as to what went wrong. Needless to say it’s not an experience she has rushed to repeat. In fact, my prize for “The Worst Customer Service of 2014” is hereby awarded to Asda. Perhaps they’d care to take note!

Whilst I continue to give Aldi a wide berth, having rated previous shopping experiences with them at 2/10, I have become a bit of a fan of Lidl. For me, Lidl have been one of the great emerging retailers of 2014. Most recently I’ve found them a great place to stock up with Christmas spirits – port, cream liqueur and cherry brandy all costing around the £5 mark, and tasting delicious – and I love their Stilton too! I’m sure that I’ll have much more to say about them in 2015.

So wherever you shop, I hope you’ve had good experiences this year – if not, let me know, I’m always keen to hear your shopping stories too!

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