September 07, 2005

Sainsbury's cuts prices... a lot

I know Sainsbury's is cutting prices, but this is ridiculous: very cheap quiche.

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on September 7, 2005 at 12:42 PM in Retail is detail | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 15, 2005

Check outs: bad user interface?

Bob Browning, an IT industry veteran, reckons Sainsbury's self service checkouts have a bad user interface. Is he right?

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on August 15, 2005 at 11:53 AM in Retail is detail, Stories | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gently agitate product

From a Technorati search on Sainsbury's: How to Make Bangers and Mash:

The following are the directly transcribed instructions on a bowl of Sainsbury's Bangers and Mash...

3. Gently agitate product...

Gently agitate product?  What am I meant to do, poke it in an annoying fashion? Imply that it's mother was a hen and it's father was a carrot?

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on August 15, 2005 at 11:43 AM in Food, Retail is detail | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2005

If Unilever can get blogging, so can Sainsbury's

Remember Johnnie and I posted a lot about how Sainsbury's could / should monitor the blogosphere, particularly food blogs, and respond with email, comments and trackbacks to what is being said about the supermarket? I even drafted a comment for them, suggesting that Sainsbury's should send a crate of wine to a Nottingham diner, who couldn't find dinner party ingredients on Sainsbury's shelves.

It seems Unilever use that very strategy. When Dan Entin of 2 Percent Nation couldn't find his favourite deodorant, he blogged about it. Unilever responded... with information and a case of the missing product. Dan is now a customer for life, but, more importantly for Unilever, he is spreading the word.

I picked this up via Steve Rubel at MicroPersuasion, who retells Dan's story and cannily observes:

Unilever - a huge company with lots of to worry about - took the time to respond to Dan directly via email...

I believe we just witnessed the future of customer service. One day CRM systems will bolt in blog monitoring functionality so these posts automatically get funneled to the right place. For now, they need to be handled onesie twosie - but handled nonetheless. Kudos to Unilever.

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on August 13, 2005 at 02:21 PM in Retail is detail, Stories | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 11, 2005

Retail is detail... again

Tuna chunks in brain... yes, you read that right.

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on August 11, 2005 at 12:50 PM in Retail is detail | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2005

Retail really is detail

Sainsbury's recently recalled two varieties of its dairy-free frozen dessert, because they each contain dairy products. I am not criticising Sainsbury's here - all supermarkets have to deal with this sort of thing. I mention it simply to remind myself that there is more to supermarket retailing than meets the eye.

From The Food Standards Agency.

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on May 13, 2005 at 10:28 AM in Retail is detail | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 20, 2005

More on blogging

Adding a bit more to Phase 2 of my suggested blogging strategy, the most important comments Sainsbury's could make are those which respond to complaints raised by other bloggers. For example, this might have drawn the sting out of the original post from EatNottingham:

Hello, this is Sally Blog from Sainsbury's. I was very sorry to hear about the difficulty you had getting all your desired ingredients from Sainsbury's for your dinner party.

You are perfectly right of course: we have been through a pretty torrid time keeping stock on our shelves and that in the main has been due to problems with our automated depots. We are now changing our working practises, in particular augmenting the automated depot systems with X number of staff, and increasing the number of in-store staff by Y number per store. Unfortunately, it is taking time for these changes to have a full effect, but we are making progress.

Across the country our availability, based on an average shopping basket test has improved by Z% over the last twelve months, and we have recieved encouraging comments from our customers in most areas. But I do understand that you were after specific ingredients, for a special occasion, not an average shopping basket. I know how frustrating it can be be to find a vital ingredient is out of stock.

To compensate for the problems, I would like to send you some wine to enjoy at your next dinner party. Please accept my sincere apologies, and email me the address to which you would like me to send the wine.

OK, it needs work, but you get the gist.

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on April 20, 2005 at 05:14 PM in Retail is detail | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 18, 2005

On opening cartons

Lord (Alan) Sainsbury (motto: retail is detail) would have been delighted with Toby of The Wildebeest Plains for this post on an improvement in Sainsbury carton design.

Sainsbury's have... brace yourselves... changed the design of their boxed fruit juice top!

I'll accept that this isn't perhaps the most amazing or important bit of news, but it is a subject very close to my heart. It's always a bad start to the day when you get up and with your still sleepy body try to get a glass of orange juice. It sets a bad precedent for the day if the first task (well second if you count getting out of bed as one) of the day fails in some way. I for one don't like waking up and then being reminded almost before I've opened my eyes that the world is not a perfect place.

Read more.

Posted by Johnnie Moore on April 18, 2005 at 12:28 AM in Retail is detail | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack