Are you supermarket loyal?

This post is from 2015!

Supermarkets falling profits

There has been much discussion by retail analysts as to the reasons for profits of the supermarkets falling. Is it because the supermarkets have diversified too much and have forgotten what made them successful? Which companies have the best sited stores? It is probably a combination of many things. The public using more convenience stores and dropping the weekly shop and the irony of the likes of Tesco and Sainsburys developing these smaller stores in the first place?  The price wars between the big four and Lidl/Aldi. Are people doing a weekly shop for non-perishables and buying what they want to eat that evening on the way home from work?  Who understands the price matching thing anyway? Is it a Tesco finest pie versus a Sainsbury’s taste the difference pie? Is it Sainsbury’s taste the difference tomato versus Asda’s tomato? Then you have the all the confusing prices that annoy everyone. Which? has a petition you can sign regarding that one!

Loyalty cards

From 11th April Sainsbury’s reduce their loyalty points on their Nectar card. Sainsbury’s nectar turns sour. This move from Sainsburys may save them money in the short term but in the long term customers are less loyal than they ever were and we often know that companies frequently reward new customers and not existing customers and this is a very good example of that. All the loyalty cards have their confusions don’t they? X for purchases in stores, y on the credit card, z in other stores and they should be simplified!

At Christmas Sainsbury’s provided a “double up points” scheme that was limited to £20 per department and many staff didn’t even know what was in and what was out of the offer. (I know this because I experienced it and I vaguely remember sending them my opinions on their Christmas offer. £20 limit on toys for a family of 4 isn’t very helpful either. This sort of thing annoys customers greatly and for Sainsbury’s to increase their profits they need to be mindful of making thing more complicated for customers if they want to develop loyalty. In contrast, Tesco has the most developed reward scheme with the most frequent doubling up of value and range of items to spend points on. It also seems to have improved its voucher scheme having simplified the doubling up process so that you can spend across departments with no limit. They had to do something after I took Tesco to court over their clubcard fiasco perhaps?!

Morrisons has only just started a loyalty card. Late to the table with that one. I discussed their woes with Adam Parsons on wake Up To Money on Radio 5

Radio 5live Breakfast Helen Dewdney talking supermarket tactics to make you buy more

Simple answer for all supermarkets?

Ask the customer what they want and give it to them. Develop a decent loyalty scheme that rewards customers, don’t  take away from exiting loyalty schemes, improve them. Surely that is obvious? Perhaps not to some CEOs. Customers have been saying for years just reduce the prices, stop all the annoying vouchers that customers have to fill their purses/wallets with, stop all the bogoffs and offers just reduce the prices, permanently. Despite the fact that this is a well-known hate of customers the supermarkets still continue the practice. Supermarkets need to set up a thorough programme of consultation running various meaningful projects not just ask for feedback from just existing customers. Perhaps it about time that supermarkets took on an “Every listen helps” slogan.

Are you loyal to a supermarket? Why? What should they do to improve your loyalty or get it in the first place? Is it just price or do they need to do more? What do you think of the price matching, deals, etc etc?!

12/03/2015 Morrisons figures

Supermarkets discontinue products. WHY?

If you’ve come here for the answer, sorry don’t have it. Other than I assume they stop products in favour of ones that will make them more money?!

So, got to start with Tesco haven’t I? It’s like a given. Nah, this time I will start with Sainsbury’s because it has really really annoyed me. Look at these:
0000001066869_L0000001066418_L0000001065718_L0000001066517_L0000001066746_L Lovely looking cookies huh? See that space though? Triple chocolate cookies missing. Why would you stop that? Seriously. One biscuit with 369 calories in it has got to be good. They are all the same price so just sell the right number of each. Why discontinue? Foolish decision. Foolish. Foolish. Foolish.

Update – they are back well done Sainsbury’s!

Right, Tesco. So, in the last few months they have discontinued
1) The tea towels I buy (very daft when they match other items they still sell!?!)
2) Heinz reduced sugar and salt ketchup (why for crying out loud?)
3) 650g cherry tomatoes so you have to spend more on 300g packs
4) Cherry pie (The Bull is not happy about that)
5) Tesco finest cheese flatbread

Then a few people told me that Tesco Watford has forgotten it is a grocery store and is stocking more electrical, furniture and china. Also Tesco finest baked beans have been discontinued too! Someone said that Tesco had discontinued customer service….

Update – right, remember a few months ago Tesco was reported as stopping 30% of its products. Well I wrote to ole Dave and asked him about the reasoning and what products they were going to stop etc. Here’s his response “In a big superstore we have more than 25% of items that either don’t sell or a single unit a week and taking up space from the lines most people want and they leave disappointed. We are reducing this customers don’t want and increase space for things that they do.” So there you go, although I don’t believe that Tesco finest cheese flat bread didn’t sell.

Hurrah! Sainsbury’s have reinstated the triple chocolate cookie. Was it something I said?

Do join in the rants below about what your supermarkets has stopped stocking!