Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nairn’s caring, sharing Co-ops

Contributed to the Gurn this afternoon:

The impact of the purchase of the Somerfield group by the Co-op earlier in the year is now becoming apparent for Nairnites; Somerfield brands are gradually disappearing from the shelves to be replaced with the Co-ops on label produce.
The two stores are hardly more than a stones throw apart, and as Somerfield slowly glides into the supermarket mists of time, it’s hard to find rational for both stores to continue trading, effectively selling the same products to the same local populace.
What is harder to chew on is the price differentials in the two stores. A good (or should it be poor) example is that of dairy products with Co-op branded butter and milk often having very different pricing in the two stores, Co-op butter for example had a 20p difference last week, and to confuse matters even more it’s not always the larger Somerfield store that has the cheaper pricing.
A member of staff in Somerfield admitted that there were price differences but didn’t know as to why. I contacted the Co-ops Public Relations person, who asked me to ring her Scottish counterpart. In turn she then pointed to the Co-ops Customer Relations person. He asked me to put my questions in an email, which I did, and then heard nearly nothing for a week.
The rather unsatisfactory reply tells me of all the wonderful things the Co-op has achieved and the money it has recently spent on stores. It then goes onto say that Somerfield stores have their own price structure.
So Nairnites we now have store wars on our High Street between the Co-op and err… the Co-op. Confused? Well your purse will be, and back to the butter example in one store it was 99p and in the other £1.19, multiply that by a few goods and the pennies soon mount up. To make matters worse many of us are aware that the Co-op/Somerfield stores in Nairn are not the cheapest, and currently make a food shop journey to Forres or Inverness anyway.
If the Co-op and indeed High Street traders wish to ensure that some monies are spent in Nairn, then I suggest that the unequal pricing between the two Co-op stores is resolved as soon as is possible, otherwise even more shopping will take place outwith the town.
As to which Co-op store Nairn will keep I suggest all depends on the Sainsbury’s out come, meanwhile my advice is to watch your pennies if you decide you still want to shop in one of our Co-ops

Nairnites for Equal Co-op Pricing


What Colour said...

Please don't be too hard on them.I heard they were giving away free exterior emulsion to the first ten thousand painters through the doors.

Anonymous said...

As I understand it all the Co-op shops in Nairn, including Somerfield, and by the way also the Chemiclean shop, are all of a size that classes them as 'convenience stores'. Consequently, their price structure is guided by whatever the shop wants to charge and gets away with. A couple of items in the shop window as 'loss leaders' to get the punters in - and then hopefully they'll buy a couple of overpriced items. QED.