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From Jenny B

21 January, 2011

Having not set foot in the co-op since November last year, today I called in for bread and some inspiration for our eveningmeal. Big Mistake!
Now lest you defenders of the place, think I 'go looking for things to pick on', please let me assure you that I wanted to be in and out within ten minutes. And given the proposals for change my hopes were set a little higher than usual.

This was today's experience:

The meat - very poor supply, untidily displayed. Bacon - 2 packs clearly 'blown' and discoloured on display, I looked for a staff member to give the bacon to - none around. Didnt bother to buy any meat.

Bread - okayish choice for time of day.

The aisles were each full of packaging, piles of stock, half opened stock, bit like an obstacle course.

Checkout 3.35 pm schools out = busy, Two tills on, speed of transactions were verging on comatose. Checkout operator - glum, didnt speak until he mumbled the total whcih I had to ask him to repeat as I honestly couldnt hear him. The card machine 'asked me was the queueing time acceptable?' I of course pressed No. The checkout operator handed me my reciept in silence.

So how do I post this without sounding as though I am whinging about nothing/ criticising staff/ being unfair? Try it for yourself. It is quite difficult.

I didnt expect grand things. The coop is as has been pointed out, a convenience store and not an all singing superstore, but...

Roll on Sainsburys less than 2 miles up the road, I might even walk there and be quicker than shopping at the Co-op.

From Andy M

Friday, 21 January 2011

I popped in the other day to pick up a few, non-exotic, items and was greeted by empty shelves . Just as I was giving up the co-op radio chimed in advising me to use the co-op for all my convenience shopping (or some such drivel).

I got an odd look from one of the staff as I verbally remonstrated with the loudspeaker!

Hopefully they can sort out their supply issues but they could do with doing a quality check - the bread in particular, is poor.


From Andrew B

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Here we go again. Like it or lump it, it is what it is- as the comments box has been restored, maybe you should have commented there instead of again moaning about the staff.

I'm only glad I don't work there because I assure you that had you approached me with the same attitude that you appear to have approached this forum with then you would still be waiting.

No one is forced to use the Co-op, if you have comments, there's a box for them, ask to speak to a manager. It will clearly never be perfect, it's a small store in a small town, it's a real shame that the only who people seem to pass negative comment think they're better than anyone else.

Think you can do better? Could you change the store for the better? Why not pick up an application form if you can bare to walk through the doors again! Let's face it, half of the Hebden Bridge population have been trying to change the world for long enough.


From Maureen Brian

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Perhaps this is the moment to mention that colleagues of these comatose check-out staff and only a mile up the road were recently threatened by masked and armed raiders.

There are constructive things the Co-op could do. Because of my background, I'd start the list with a bit of investment in staff training, a more Japanese approach to skills development within the group and and a pay scale which rewarded thinking and communication skills.

Someone coming from a retail management background would have a different list. No matter.

First question - are you as polite to the co-op's staff as you expect them to be to you? Always?

Second question - have you taken the available constructive steps as above?

Third question, in the light of the Mytholmroyd raid - are you willing to put your life on the line for not much more than the minimum wage?

Well, that sorts it then, doesn't it?

From Jenny B

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Hey ho, outbursts and a barrage of insults already.

a) yes I would have used the suggestion box, but if you refer to the cardboard box on a table in front of the checkout with no paper to write on, sorry that one was n/a.

b) no I wouldnt choose to work there, nor would many others, but yes if I needed a job I would consider applying I am not averse to retail work and actually worked in Tesco throughout my uni years so have lots of experience.

c) yes I am polite because of b) and also because I wouldn't be rude or discourteous to staff in any environment. There is never an excuse to be sullen or rude. I have been up all night with crying babies and gone to work almost dead on my feet but never surly or rude to others. I was raised with the principle of treating others as i would like to be treated.

d) Hold-ups are few and far between, if the risk to the security of staff entails 'putting their lives on the line' then they should be paid more certainly. But I dont see how this affects the customer service I received. If you are knocked down by a car,you don't snarl at every driver do you?

e) I wish I could change the world so that everyone was happy in their job, and that this led to politeness to customers and sent me home happy too, unfortunatley I can't but by being polite, courteous, honest and unafraid to voice my opinion I can do my bit to make people think.

f) hope that answers you both and allows you too to consider the way you deal with people, be they virtual or real?

From Rachael Lawrence

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Browsing this forum whilst staying with a Hebden friend and wished to add my views.

Having shopped in your local co-op and found it lacking in comparison to others I can see where some of the complaints in this and previous threads are coming from.

But staff 'putting their lives on the line for the minimum wage' makes me think - !!!

Our soldiers, airmen, fire-fighters and police officers do that every time they go to work, and as the wife of a serving soldier, I find it extremely insulting of Ms Brian to suggest that small town retail staff do the same.

Their experience was no doubt frightening and distressing at the time, but does she really think that if every police officer threatened with a knife was allowed to be rude/sullen, because a colleague of theirs had been threatened with violence ? No Mrs Brian I think not.

From Jenny B

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

I have to agree Rachael. Kind of puts things in perspective for us all really.

I do find it very frustrating that those who assume I was rude and/or discourteous (so deserved poor service?), seem to find it acceptable to be rude to me or to anyone who posts criticism.

I will vote with my feet and give up on the co-op.

But is that really the best outcome - that we 'whingers' simply shop elsewhere?

From Phil M

Thursday, 27 January 2011

I quite like it, the percentage of 'empty shelves' is minimal, theres a good amount of free range chicken and its as much of a supermarket as Hebden needs..

From Gwen Goddard

Saturday, 29 January 2011

I hope the regional manager is again reading these posts. In there today at 10.45 on a Saturday to buy fruit and veg - bare shelves; no little notices (as we were promised) to explain why or say when new stuff would be coming in; staff merely saying 'It's not our fault' and looking troubled as they said it.

Whose fault is it? When is it going to be put right? The suggestion box doesn't seem to be having any effect. Let's get the regional manager back so we can reiterate our demands for something better and hope that this time he will actually do what he said he would on the earlier occasion.

From Zetta B

Saturday, 29 January 2011

I like the co-op. I've never had trouble buying basics there and they have a plentiful supply of other less mainstream products too. Even if they're short of one thing, there's something else to buy instead. I'm not sure why it's so outrageous for them to run out of things? Why do people assume there should be an uninterrupted supply of whatever we fancy? Lot's of people have to do with much less after all......

From Bill Greenwood

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Can you imagine the fuss from the 'locals' if a photo appeared in the Brig Rag showing great loads of rotten fruit and mouldy bread being carted away from the back of the Co-op because they hadn't sold all they'd ordered? There'd be shoe boxes appeals to send it off to starving children in some faraway land and griping about the terrible waste from a Hebden Bridge shop. The stock levels might be low but at least we aren't seeing mass waste like we do at bigger stores.

From Andrew B

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Bill I agree, and you could bet your bottom dollar that it would be the same people moaning about poor stock levels as would be writing to the H.B. Times!

I have never had to leave the Co-op empty handed, as Zetta has said their is usually an alternative.

We live in a small town, where most local villages have access to a local shop, and the town centre itself has Spar, Oasis & the Co-op all with a sufficient offering of products, choice, and competition.


From John Hanson

Sunday, 30 January 2011

I have always disliked the co-op in Hebden Bridge . . .

I've lived here all my life and in about 1983 I was aged about 10 - there was once a beautiful mill that stood where the co-op stands now and the co-op I believe were personally responsible for demolishing the mill... They moved all the machinery in on a Saturday night and hid it all on Central Street - we as kids found it very exciting seeing all the trucks and excavators turning up, and then as soon as it came daylight they demolished all the important parts of the mill that had preservation orders on it, ie, the lovely gothic style mill offices on Salem Street and flattening as much as they could - there was no dismantling... a crane with a ball and chain was used and it was very rushed. They knew that what they were doing was wrong...... I can remember councillors watching in complete dismay and big crowds gathering on market street to watch this bizzare demolishing going on and the local councillor been very fustrated as he was unable to act as it was a Sunday and all the council officers were shut... then the co-op paid the fine.

They left the site a complete eyesore for a couple of years (I can even remember someone burning a full static caravan on there!) ...only leaving a modern warehouse section standing which was in a very dangerous state but it was knocked down once planning permission was passed.

Other than that I think the vast majority of the quality of the food in the co-op is rubbish -everything seems to have a very short shelf life.. It's also a very expensive supermarket... the attitude of the staff is quite appalling except for about 3 employees and the car park is very dangerous for pedestrians at peak times...

Not to mention numerous HGV arctics turning up every day delivering part loads and creating havoc and congestion (and they call themselves green?)

All in all a very badly run expensive supermarket!

See also:

HebWeb Forum - Co-op supermarket (Sept-Nov 2010)

HebWeb News - report of the meeting sent to HebWeb by the Co-op

HebWeb News - report of meeting called by Coop on 2nd November

HebWeb News - report of previous meeting, April 2008

HebWeb Forum - October 2009

HebWeb Forum - December 2009

HebWeb News - 2010 Clone Town report