Waitrose again

Surprise, surprise: Waitrose didn’t put my comment on their MD’s blog.

From moderation@waitrose.com
Your comment on Waitrose.com was not approved
Dear Bridget Fox

Thank you for visiting Mark Price’s blog on Waitrose.com. Unfortunately we were unable to publish your comment on the site as we felt it is best placed with our Customer Services team.

We will be happy to hear from you so please get in touch at customer_service@waitrose.co.uk or alternatively call our freephone number on 0800 188884 so that we can discuss your individual requirements.

Waitrose Customer Service is open 8am-10pm Monday -Friday, 8am-9pm Saturday and 9am-7pm Sunday.

Hope to hear from you soon,

Doreen Ann
Customer Service

As the comments they choose to publish are like this “Your announcement of expansion in London is just further proof of the public’s agreement in your ethos” I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised....

Meanwhile, I have also written to the MD care of Customer Service.

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8 Comments »

  1. Susanne said

    I can’t understnd what you are hoping to achieve by this. We all have sentimental thoughts about Woollies but we all know their stores are outdated, shabby and need a revamp.

    Woolies want to downsize and raise some much needed cash and Waitrose want to buy. A prime location, it’s a free market – Why do you think you have the right to tell them who they should or shouldn’t sell too.

    The traders in Chapel Market are probably clapping their hand with glee. The change-over should encourage more stalls to be set up. Gives stall owners more incentive to sell all the little bits & bots that Woollies sell. With Waitrose moving in it will only help to unmarket the area.

    Disappointing – Could think of so many other more worthwhile issues to help the community rather than wasting your time and energy on such a futile matter

  2. Matt said

    Bridget:
    Well-done on taking-on this hugely important issue!
    The Angel Woolworths provides so many essential items for the less-affluent occupants of the area (including the many Council Estates) which are, to be frank, of better quality and reliability than those available in the Market, and often at keener prices. The Angel Woolies is an incredibly valuable resource for all – where else in the area could people from all walks of life get toys, childrens’ clothes, Audio-visual entertainment & equipment, DIY materials, crockery, kitchenware, linen & towels, motoring accessories, household electricals, etc etc in such variety and decent quality and at such a reasonable price, all guaranteed by a Company of National standing???
    The fact that people choose to buy such goods from Woolies rather than the poorer quality equivalent off a Market Stall, speaks volumes – ‘Susanne’ especially should note!
    The opinions and wishes of ALL the People of the area, not just the affluent ones, need to be heard and I congratulate you on being one of the few who stand-up and give them a wider voice.
    I have heard that Waitrose is experiencing some difficulties in moving-in, as Sainsbury’s is refusing them access to their loading-bay area! Things like that, plus an awareness that there is significant resistance to their replacing such a valuable community resource as our Woolies, may just possibly give them pause for thought.
    I would encourage your readers to follow the link on your Blog to the MD of Waitrose’s own ‘Blog’ (or pure cynical advertising tool, as it actually is!) and submit their own Protests, direct to the PR department of Waitrose itself. The more who do this, the clearer it will be to Waitrose that sheer financial muscle should not be enough to over-ride the needs & wishes of a local Community.
    As for the bilious comments of ‘Susanne’, above, she gives the impression she would also use the same kind of arguments to deride the efforts to oppose the closing of local Post Offices too ??!!??
    But, Bridget, not to let YOU off the hook too easily either; you, as Lib-Dem Parliamentary Candidate, are voicing these admirable sentiments – but what are you doing to to ensure your Lib-Dem colleagues, who run the Islington COUNCIL take up this cause also ??

  3. bridgetfox said

    Thank you Matt!

    I have raised this with the relevant lead member who is looking at what the council can do.

    The problem is that changing from a Woolworths to a Waitrose does not require planning permission as there is no change of use, so it is a very frustrating situation and not one where the Council has direct input.

    The ‘sustainable communities bill’ was supposed to give councils more specific planning controls than the current very broad use classes, but so far this has not happened.

    I think it’s a poor business decision for Waitrose to open a 3rd Islington store on the eve of a recession, quite apart from depriving us of a Woolworths (which is Woolworths’ own decision); but there’s nothing illegal about it however undesirable.

    It seems that Waitrose, despite the hype, is as aggressive a multiple as the other supermarkets….

  4. David said

    What a silly debate. We live in a free market which gives Woolies the right to sell their shop to the highest bidder if they wish to. In this case Waitrose have taken up the offer and surely opening a third Islington store is only a “poor decision” if they are going to lose money and I hardly think that they’re planning to do that. I cannot understand why anyone would want to preserve a Woolworths as they are a shadow of the shop they used to be. Come on Bridget, we want debate about important issues rather than this trivia.

  5. Tyce said

    I agree this is a silly debate.

    Don’t blame this on Waitrose…. blame it on Woolworths. They’re the ones who have decided to sell their premises, not just at Islington but in 3 other London locations too. What are Waitrose to do – give Woolworths some money to make it worth their while to keep the stores open? These Woolworths stores are obviously not profitable enough to remain open and it’s in their best interests to sell them off. It’s absurd to suggest they should continue operating. This is the kind of thinking that would send the entire economy of Britain down a black hole. I would suggest Economics 101 for those who don’t understand the concept of a free market.

    On a personal note, Woolworths Islington was the worst store I have ever had the misfortune to visit. It has come in handy a few times but in general it was an awful experience from the look and feel of the store, the products and especially the service. Waitrose will be a welcome addition to Angel. The Sainsbury’s there is becoming extremely tired and over-crowded and M&S is generally too expensive.

  6. Linda said

    I have been shopping at Woolworths for decades. I trust their products. I do a lot of shopping there — from toys and stationery to bedding and electrical appliances. I was very surprised when I found out Woolworths was closing. It’s always packed — how can the store at the Angel be losing money? As for the comments about poor service and shabby surroundings — I have to disagree. The service at the Angel Woolworths has always been excellent. The store itself is clean and the products on the shelves are clean too. How will a Waitrose improve the area? There will be a Waitrose, a Marks and Spencer, a Sainsbury’s and an Iceland all within a stone’s throw of each other. If Tyce thinks M&S is “generally too expensive”, what will s/he think about Waitrose prices? I certainly can’t afford to shop at Waitrose.

  7. Tyce said

    Waitrose is a lot cheaper than M&S and while they can be expensive on certain things, the widely held perception that they’re super expensive is not really true. Many of the basic products (milk etc.) are the same price as Sainsbury’s, who they benchmark their prices against. Lots of their other products (like ready meals and bakery goods) are also in line with the likes of Sainsbury’s whilst being better quality in a lot of cases. I already do almost half my shopping at Waitrose but it’s going to make it a lot more convenient to have one closer to home. It also means I’ll be able to avoid Sainsbury’s as well, which is always chaotic and crowded with huge queues at the tills.

    I’m pretty confident that the Waitrose will be a huge success and will make the area look a lot better.

  8. Jack Kingston said

    Many communities are crying out for a Waitrose…literally!! They bring wealth to an area and if I was you would be very happy!! Wooloworths have sold the lease to Waitrose…get over it. I also find them Cheaper and far better than Sainsburys on many many products.

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