What is this woman for?

The supermarkets may provide an embarrassment of choice, but they do the opposite of educating: they pile their stuff high and sell it cheap, pretending to be the consumer’s friend while lining their pockets courtesy of their customers’ naivety.


11 thoughts on “Mummy,”

  1. I wasn’t aware supermarkets were meant to be places of education, myself (even if most of them do now provide free recipe cards).

  2. “they pile their stuff high and sell it cheap”

    Some supermarket chains are anything but cheap or low-priced and intentionally so. Indeed, the pitch of some chains is precisely that they are selling high-quality foods, meals and produce at prices which provide value-for-money. One or two (smallish) chains have been hugely successful with that business model, others less so. The Economist in a past review of supermarket domains once categorised Waitrose shoppers as those who are too refined to shop at Sainsbury’s. Despite that, Waitrose has been very successful in gaining market share in last few years, Sainsbury’s less so.

    This is a dynamic market in which the rank order of the chains by market shares has changed over 15 years or so. Those claiming shoppers are naive will have a problem explaining the changes in the respective market shares of the various chains.

  3. “nobody much wants to feed their children jars of nondescript mush,”

    When I was a babby, Muther used to make hotpot, and liver and onions, mince and tatties. Then she used t

  4. “nobody much wants to feed their children jars of nondescript mush,”

    When I was a babby, Muther used to make hotpot, and liver and onions, mince and tatties. Then she used to take some of it and press it through a sieve, and feed me with it. It was nondescript mush, and I should know. Now what else are you going to feed to bairns with no teeth ?

  5. “courtesy of their customers’ naivety”

    Translation: If only all these working class people were as enlightened as little old me…

  6. “If you don’t like supermarkets – what would you put in their place?”

    As we can’t re-run history to find out what would happen, the question is hypothetical but there is no shortage of answers despite that. Many believe that without supermarkets, there would be no (or fewer) out-of-town stores and town/city centres would be thriving with vibrant, independent stores. Some say (with good reason) that the rot started with the abolition of resale price maintenance by the Resale Prices Act 1964 which, subject to some specific exemptions, prohibited manufacturers and wholesalers from enforcing recommended resale prices:

    Ted Heath was the minister in a Conservative government who pushed that legislation through Parliament and there are those who claim that the harm done to small shopkeepers by the abolition of resale price maintenance was one of the main reasons why the Conservatives lost the election that year. It’s another of those things still held against Heath.

    For all that, no government in the last 40 something years has proposed repealing the legislation. However, it is claimed that covert and illegal resale price maintenance still goes on with a range of consumer electronics products, which is almost certainly true. The nett book agreement, one of the original exemptions, has been abandoned so price competition between booksellers is now widespread. Some supermarket chains, notably Asda, have actively campaigned for the removal of the exemption for pharmaceutical products but without success.

  7. Thank you, Art Leg. Some might think that journos are as bad as MPs, but I suspects that they’re much worse.

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