I haven’t had a good rant for a while, so best I put that right.
I had cause to go into a large store of a well-known supermarket a while ago.
Make that a very large store.
An extremely large store. Obscenely large.
It was like a medium sized city inside.
Or possibly a large cathedral, which would feel more appropriate, since these things are the glorification of the worship of money. How so? This store, like most others of its hateful ilk, does not simply sell food, any more.
It sells clothes. It sells white goods. DVDs and CDs. Computers and accessories. Mobile phones. Books, stationery, and greetings cards. Items of furniture. Garden items. DIY stuff. It has started its own bank and offers everything from insurance policies to bank accounts. The list seems endless. If I had wanted a lighthouse or a wolf they would probably have got me one from out the back.
There seems to be very little that it does not yet sell, although I have no doubt that it will only be a matter of time before those few gaps are filled.
Its business plan is simple – put every single other type of shop out of business, and corner the market in everything.
I had the strangest feeling – the feeling that I was somehow diminished, just by being in there.
And the food items? The reason I went in there in the first place?
Apparently it is essential that we are able to choose from well over a hundred types of cheese which particular one we need – strong, very strong, beat your brains in, mild, sliced, grated, chopped in cubes, turned into string, low fat, no fat, cows’ milk, sheeps’ milk, antelopes’ milk, crocodiles’ milk, virtual cheese, and all produced by four or five different companies.
And that’s just the cheddar.
Its website tells me that it sells 343 different cheese products. I’m all for choice, but, good grief!
Interestingly, looking at a website for a rival big multinational, I find they sell 344 of these products. Perhaps I should go there, instead? I wouldn’t want to miss out on a shopping opportunity. They might be able to offer me a better ‘shopping experience.’ For my ‘shopping solutions.’
Why do advertising agencies have to come up with that drivel?
And that brings me to another interesting thought.
There is the push to encourage all shoppers to use the ‘self’ check-outs, but at least they seem to have reined back a little on the verbal persuasions. I was standing in line at my ‘local’ small branch last year, when I was approached by a member of staff who suggested I use a ‘self’ check-out.
‘No thanks.’ I said.
‘It’s okay,’ he told me, ‘I’ll show you what to do.’
I can see perfectly well what to do. I don’t intend to use it.’
‘Why not, sir?’
‘Because it’s sole purpose is to take away your jobs.’
‘That’s not so…’
‘I suggest you look at their website, then. Because I have. It clearly states that is one of the advantages of buying one.’
Damn the lot of them.