Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cool, man

They're still doing loads of building work to make my local Sainsbury's bigger and more profitable. (Yes, very dull first sentence, it would never get me anywhere in GCSE English Language, but please bear with me.)

Now they're trying to make it cool as well, so it's surrounded by notices such as this one:

"Just off to the supermarket, dear"

"Are you going to Sainsbury's? Oh, how exciting, they sell loads of fab stuff there you know."

Supermarkets are not cool. They are, by their very nature, boring. And also, by their very nature, designed to make a few people very very rich. And rip us all off with their dreary reward card schemes which - we all know - are only there so they can compile lots of data about us. And they probably - and we don't like to think about this too much - exploit lots of people who make the products that they sell.

Have you ever found a supermarket where the Fair Trade coffee wasn't on the top shelf about three feet above eye level? Have you ever found a supermarket where the Nestle products weren't exactly at eye level, wherever your eye level might be? Certainly that's what happens in this Sainsbury's.

No, we shop in supermarkets because it's easier and cheaper for us to do so than to shop almost anywhere else. We may care about the things they get up to, but not quite enough, it seems, to stop us shopping there.

Supermarkets are not cool, however, and never will be, so they should stop trying to persuade us that they are. Do they think we're stupid? - - - Well, yes, actually.


Blogger John said...


I read recently an article describing the despicable lengths supermarkets will go to to relieve us of our cash. As well as the the well know trick of pumping the hot fresh-bread air from the bakery at the back of the store into the main body of the Palace of Consumption to make us all feel part of some comestible village, they put smaller tiles on the floor of aisles where expensive goods lurk so that you subconsciously slow down to maintain the tappety rhythm of the trolley wheels. Bastards.

This is the same principle as the ever decreasing interval between the sleeping policecadets on the approaches to roundabouts on the A1 I guess.

Supermarkets, apparently, have also been known to put hopscotch patterns on the floor to make the shopper peruse the overpriced useless items on adjacent shelves as little Johny and Belinda battle for the top spot.

The worst thing in my mind is the way suppermarkets keep moving the fucking items around, forcing you to explore new aisles in the vain hope of finding your favourite tinned squid.

First up against the wall come the revolution if you ask me.

11:18 am  
Blogger Ailbhe said...

I am still trying to think of a way to get my shopping done with two kids without going insane. Currently we use an overpriced organic veg service, because they were fab before they were sold. I think I might start going to Lidl again, early on a Monday morning, and getting the non-Lidl stuff in Waitrose or somewhere. Two shops. How tedious. But they're both cheapest for the specific things they stock, at least.

6:13 pm  

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