The news that, for the first time in a decade, the Big Four supermarkets collectively have lost market share – to the hard-discounters – is a sign of the desperate financial straits many households are facing.
Undoubtedly supermarkets are cheaper overall than independent retailers.
But unless one is wise to their wily ways there exists a very real danger that one will end up considerably poorer in the long run.
The supermarkets excel at false bargains, encouraging impulse purchases of high margin items, giving vouchers that encourage further spending regardless of necessity and offering loyalty and bonus schemes that entrap the unwary.
Although customers obtain goods at a low price one can very easily buy a great many more items than one would have done, and thus spend a great deal more money than if one had shopped locally at independent retailers.
The Big Four supermarkets must be worried more and more of their customers are coming to their senses and using other suppliers.
In our household we use the Big Four supermarkets as little as possible, and when in their stores we follow the acronym NT-NS, which stands for “Nice Try: No Sale”.
In using independent retailers we have found the quality of some produce is vastly superior, and although prices are slightly higher our shopping bill in total is lower as we are not subjected to the blandishments of hyper-consumer retailing,
The real bonus of shopping in this way is the experience has returned to one that is social rather than the soulless, clinical, consumerised, mechanical process that is the face of modern supermarket retailing.
Castle Road, Colne