Friday, 6 June 2014

Shame on you Morrisons

Picture me, a student at 17 years old, resplendent (mortified) in a navy apron with "Market Street Wm Morrison's" emblazoned on the front, listening intently to my induction for the new employees at the second store in the south east. The words the manager used to explain the ethos of the company has always stuck with me. He said the William Morrison, the founder, said it was better to charge a penny for something than throw it away and this low price ethos impressed us East Londoner's and the store was extremely popular. I recently visited the St Alban's Morrison's store and was blown away by the set up and quality. As I have been shopping at Aldi for the last six weeks (I have saved an absolute fortune and have been keeping to my £60 budget every week see frugality post) I thought at change might be in order. Morrison's are planning to build a massive store in our home town so my nearest is in Dagenham. We drove the few miles there and I wasn't very impressed when I got there. The veg was wilting and I could noticeably see the difference in price. They even seemed more expensive than Sainsbury's. I didn't need a big big shop, my trolley wasn't very full. I only bought meat for two days and not very much veg so I didn't think it would cost that much. When the lady rung everything up I audibly gasped, which made her give me a disapproving look. £80.50!!!!£80.59!!!! Now, I haven't had a chance to compare this with Sainsbury's but you can bet it wouldn't have been over £70.
I honestly felt robbed on Wednesday and strangely violated. I felt stupid for not going to Aldi. The quality is better and to be frank the shopping experience was better than the depressing Dagenham store.  Money is a real and absolute struggle for my family at the moment and the extra £30 I spent at Morrison's with nothing to show for it could have paid for 2/3 of a shop at Aldi.
All this has come in the light of Morrison's AGM yesterday where family members who no longer run the company lambasted Morrison's for mismanaging the brand and for failing it's customers for not keeping prices low -see article here. Morrison's is a prime example of where supermarkets are not thinking of the customer any more. It all about the massive profits and market share. Not about quality or value for money. This is why people are turning to the no frills of Aldi and Lidl. They have it right. The old Tesco ethos of pile it high sell it cheap works. I don't care any more whether my fruit and veg are sprayed with water to keep them fresh. I don't care if my supermarket has a café. I don't care if they have a monthly glossy magazine. All I care about it feeding my family on a budget that doesn't leave us financially ruined.
Morrison's you should be ashamed of yourselves. I await with baited breath to see what your new Romford store will be like and whether you will return to your old value ways.

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