Monday, February 10, 2014

Retail starts picking up & Waitrose is playing with the big boys

Retail news from the high street is good with the number of  reported empty retail units down - locally Robert Dyas are preparing to reopen in the Ealing shopping centre  after a brief absence from the town, although to me it looks like the new premises will be smaller than those they vacated.
Soon be back in Ealing

Stephen Fry famously stated that the purpose of Sainsbury's was to keep the 'rubbish' out of Waitrose but I note from recent visits to the West Ealing store  that  there are changes now  underway at what used to be a slightly posh supermarket .

More big lorries
More offers
Waitrose are doing a few things that might surprise customers at other supermarkets, they're playing hardball with Tesco matching their prices away from 'Special offers', For loyalty card holders they're offering money off shopping when selected newspapers are bought and the cost of groceries is £5.00 or more (this can mean I think a free Sunday Observer at £2.30), they're also giving a free cup of coffee and various promotions with an extra 10% on some everyday products.

Is this what loyal Waitrose customers want? For example how badly will the newspaper offer  hit local newsagents and (to a lesser extent) the  coffee shops in the immediate neighbourhood?

Weekend dining at home
All the best pots and cutlery

It isn't so often that we dine with visitors at home this weekend we actually went to the trouble of preparing a 3 course lunch which made a nice change, the wine we drank (with red meat) was a young (2012)  Pont du Diable 2012 and I enjoyed this one and thought it complemented the Lamb we had well.
It's a bit like  hard work entertaining at home, getting food prepared for more than just the two of us and taking the best plates out etcetera  but ultimately it is a clear sign of some effort on our part.
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