Supermarkets in the UK

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pne, 25 Jan 2015.

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  1. pne

    pne Member

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    I live in Germany but will be visiting the UK in April.

    Can you give me a short summary of the various UK supermarket chains?

    For example, which ones tend to be cheaper, which ones more expensive? Which ones sell only food, which ones have a variety of non-food products? Which ones tend to be reachable on foot, which ones are usually huge sprawling affairs in the middle of a green field, only reachable by car or once-a-day bus? Do any cater for a specific "sort of people"? Any personal favourites or recommendations?

    (If it matters, I’ll be spending most of my time in Cornwall and Sussex.)
     
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  3. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    In order of ascending poshness, we have:

    The discounters - Lidl and Audi

    The traditional big chains - Tesco/Morrisons/Sainsbury's/Asda - of these, I'd say Sainsbury's is probably slightly more well heeled than the others.

    The higher end - Waitrose and Marks and Spencers. No aspiring middle class town would want to be without them.

    The traditional big supermarket chains tend to sell a fair amount of clothing and houseware, particularly in their larger out of town stores.

    M&S is also a major clothes retailer.
     
  4. ExRes

    ExRes Established Member

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    Vorsprung durch technik, do they intend to introduce BIGOF ?

    ;)
     
  5. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    It's Aldi not Audi but that's where we do most of our shopping, very good value. Meanwhile the continued decline of Tesco shows no sign of slowing down:cry:
     
  6. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Personally, I find that Sainsbugs hits the right spot for me, in terms of value and quality.
     
  7. richw

    richw Established Member

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    Where to in Cornwall? cornwall doesn't have the largest array of supermarkets like many would find anywhere else in the country.

    There is pretty much 1 or at most 2 supermarkets in each town.
     
  8. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    Aldi and Lidl are pretty similar to their German sisters - Also it's Aldi Süd in the UK

    Tesco, Sainsburys, ASDA and Morrisons are pretty similar to EDEKA or REWE (though not Co-operatives)

    I don't know if there is a direct German equivalent of Waitrose or M+S Food.

    The big chains often have Local or Metro stores in town or city centres

    Most have buses passing nearby,
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  9. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Well, Penzance has been allowed to have three within spitting distance of one another, one in place of a heliport: result, not enough business to satisfy any of them but enough to hack off those of us shopkeepers in the town centre. Mind you, if Morrisons is not included in the ten they've announced will be closing I'll eat my hat. Still, some people will have made handsome packets on land sell-offs for those supermarkets and they're the only ones who count.
     
  10. richw

    richw Established Member

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    remember the government announcement about expanding the long rock rail maintenance depot, and then look at what occupies the required adjacent land. It makes your hat pretty safe!
     
  11. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I'm glad you said it. I've been getting stick locally for saying for the past year that that was almost certain to happen. When that Morrisons first opened as a Safeway store, the only supermarket in the area, for a time it took more money per square foot than any other Safeway!
     
  12. pne

    pne Member

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    Newquay and Truro.

    The former for a conference, the latter as a base for travelling around a bit afterwards, probably on a series of Ride Cornwall rangers.
     
  13. richw

    richw Established Member

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    I work in Truro, Truro has a Sainsbury's 100m from Rail station, and a Tesco 50m from Bus Station. Sainsbury's and Tesco In my opinion are the worst British supermarkets!
    Newquay I am not too familiar with - locals don't tend to go there often, but lovely for tourists. Although I may venture to Newquay during winter when its not over commercialised for tourism.

    There is also an Aldi almost adjacent to the Sainsbury's store in Truro. I guess you will be familiar with Aldi, being a German brand.
     
  14. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    In Newquay there is an Asda (although from the outside at least it does not appear to be the world's biggest) opposite the station.
     
  15. richw

    richw Established Member

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    It is a small one. It used to be a Somerfield, but something to do with competition commissioner happened after Co-op took over Somerfield.
     
  16. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Although the national stores do tend to appeal to different clientele, the headline prices are not necessarily the whole story. One way that lower prices are offered is to reduce the range of products on offer or the choices for each product on offer. Similarly, one store's 'bargain' range may be of similar quality to another's mid-range offering. This demonstrates that foods of a given quality are roughly the same price at factory or producer levels so a large difference between retailers would more likely be caused by loss-leader offers.
    Some stores have customer loyalty offers, e.g. Waitrose give a free cup of coffee or tea and a choice of free newspapers when £5 or £10 is spent in store. This they claim is paid for by increased footfall.
     
  17. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    If you have a local market, you will probably find that most fruit & vegetables are cheaper there than in many of the supermarkets.
     
  18. pne

    pne Member

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    So I have the choice between (as the Germans say) the Plague and Cholera? :D

    Yes, though ‘our’ Aldis are Aldi-Nord, which is a different company from Aldi-Süd (the owners are brothers). I think they’re fairly similar, though.

    I wonder what the UK ones are like; visiting an Aldi in Denmark was a rather otherworldly experience as some of the goods were ones I knew from our German shelves (sometimes even in German packaging!), while others were typically Danish products such as liver pâté. So a shop that was simultaneously familiar and exotic.

    So I wouldn’t be surprised if UK Aldi were similar: partly German, partly British in its range of goods stocked.
     
  19. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    I've used Lidls before in France and it was exactly the same to the one that I've used a few times in the UK - same products, same packaging, same layout... even down to the same floor tiles!
     
  20. richw

    richw Established Member

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    Its Aldi-Sud I believe the version we have.

    Most of the products in both Aldi and Lidl here is still in German packaging which contains multi lingual stuff.
    From Lidl, I bought stuff in Greece in Lidl in exactly the same packaging as the UK, so I guess all of Europe too.
     
  21. pne

    pne Member

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    I think those are both ways that they save money, by having one shop layout and one set of packaging for all shops (or at least all non-German ones).

    I find it a bit odd sometimes when I enter an Aldi in another city and the arrangement of shelves (and what is in which aisle) is pretty nearly exactly the same as in the ones I’m familiar with.
     
  22. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I find them a bit like visiting the 1980's to go shopping.
     
  23. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I don't think Iceland has been mentioned in this thread yet.

    (To the OP: yes, we really do have a supermarket chain with the same name as the country with capital Reykjavik! Iceland are famous for frozen food (hence the name) but sell most other groceries. They tend to be smaller stores, like Lidl or Aldi, and are usually in town or suburban centres and rarely out-of-town. They are considered by many to be downmarket but are usually cheap, although not as cheap as Lidl or Aldi as they mostly sell major UK brands.)
     
  24. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    Aldi UK is quite similar to Aldi Süd but the range is indeed altered to suit the UK market. They have a lot of "lookalike" copies of British brands in the UK stores and always have baskets and take credit cards. A few UK stores have started doing more "food to go" and have express checkouts. Haven't seen anything similar in Germany. I do like the automated bakeries they have in the German stores though.

    Lidl UK tends to be very similar to the German counterpart, often with the same brands (e.g VitaFit juices and W5 cleaning products). They use them throughout Europe. I find it very handy when I go to Spain where my parents live, as I can shop really quickly knowing what is what!
     
  25. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    It might be worth mentioning that you can get some groceries, especially chocolate bars and crisps, in discount stores like Home Bargains and B&M Bargains but there are fewer of these stores in the south of England. Poundland, Poundworld and 99p stores also sell a lot of this stuff and these do have a big presence in the south.
     
  26. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    The big out of town Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury's stores are more like Kaufland, Real or Marktkauf (owned by EDEKA I think?) in that they sell a large range of groceries including all the brands and non-food.

    Perfetto in Karstadt department stores is a bit like M&S Food I guess. Possibly HIT or Tengelmann in Bavaria (think it might be known as Kaisers elsewhere) as they are often seen as offering "quality" and have wide organic ranges.

    Or a nice independent deli/butcher/bakery which often beats them all on that front (this applies to the UK as well!).
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  27. richw

    richw Established Member

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    None of those mentioned stores exist in the towns he mentions, except a poundland in truro
     
  28. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    He said he was going to be in Cornwall and Sussex. The Poundland store locator gives about 10 Poundlands in Brighton/West Sussex/East Sussex. There is a Poundworld in Crawley. There are two 99p stores in Brighton, one in Haywards Heath and one in East Grinstead.
     
  29. pne

    pne Member

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    The knowledge might come in handy for Horsham, though.
     
  30. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Horsham's a posh town so most discount stores avoid it but it has a Poundland.
     
  31. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    There is an Iceland in Truro (in the street behind Marks and Spencer, which has a reasonably large food offering) - a good friend of mine works there. Newquay has a Morrisons, quite big I remember.
     
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