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Can you count on the Co-op?

From Lulu B

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Just thought I would throw a new spanner in the mix regarding our beloved 'corner shop'.

Why is it every week I am unable to obtain Alpro soya milk? This has been occuring for a long while despite bringing it to the attention of the staff, albeit when Alpro is on the shelves the Co-op soya isn't and vice versa.
It is not something I can buy in bulk from the Co-op due to heavy weight/ pricing which is as you would expect much more than Sains' or Tesco Metro.

Alpro original is the only one able to be used in coffee thus the emphasis is somewhat greater, especially mornings! This milk is not available in either of our health shops, Oasis do provide a similar one, but it is hit & miss in hot beverages.

I understand shelf space is minimal, although I see a few shiny electrical items are now on show!

In general the service & shopability is fair for my wants and whims, other than this one issue.

From Jack Hughes

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Silence speaks volumes. It seems that the local mood towards the Co-Op's iniquities is now one of grim resignation...

However, I am glad that I can count in, rather than on, the Co-Op - otherwise, their recent 2-for-1-offer-that-wasn't would've left me a couple of quid out of pocket [and no, I'm not going to tell you which item this refers to - Trading Standards will hopefully be investigating this soon, since I'd already reported this pricing 'anomaly' to staff, to no effect it seems...]

In the meantime, the Todmorden branches of Morrison's and Lidl can look forward to my custom. But, at the risk of igniting yet another fractious and ultimately futile "what's up with the Co-Op?" thread, I have to ask, what are your experiences of this understaffed and overpriced excuse for a convenience store? Speak up!

From Dave R

Monday, 14 January 2013

Jack you could have hit the nail on the head there. There is an air of stoic acceptance of our town's poor quality 'supermarket', but I do also think that the complaint of a limited variety of soya milk being available, was a little bit 'too Hebden Bridge' to elicit any sympathy this time round.

I well remember the previous retaliation in this forum, should anyone dare to complain that the store failed to stock such basics as peppers.
The co-op is as most of us know, a corner shop with ideas of grandeur. it is not a supermarket. It is allegedly a convenience store.

The issue is one how convenient it is if they fail to stock what one needs.
Many of us live in hope that Councillor Battye will be our saviour and grant the opening of a new cleaner; well stocked; adequately staffed; cheaper (with transparent pricing in operation) store.

Until then we simply shop elsewhere. personally having managed to not shop in the co-op this year, I may adopt a boycott as a new years resolution I am more than likely able to keep.

From Benny M

Monday, 14 January 2013

Through circumstance we have to shop at the local Coop six days a week.We run a local catering business and need to stock up on our basics, veg, breads, meats, cheese, etc. The staff who we have grown to know over the last six years are approachable and human. Treat them with respect and you will be surprised at the response you get. They are under paid and badly managed. No tills at eight thirty in the morning is disgusting the poor person on kiosk must have nightmares before going on duty. I know there are problems with special offers, promotions, etc. Again, not the local staffs' fault.

Inept management are to blame. If you have a problem contact senior management and give the kids a break.

From Jenny B

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Benny says: "Inept management are to blame. If you have a problem contact senior management and give the kids a break". Aside from Lulu not actually blaming staff for the shortage of milk, I don't think forum members have displayed lack of respect for the coop staff.

That they 'appear' downtrodden; downhearted and not happy bunnies. clearly reflects on the bad management, as highlighted by Benny himself.
Regulars will recall that concerns were taken to senior management, who as we all know resolved to do something about the problems aired on here.

In my experience if you pop in your local store, say on your way home from work, for something basic to concoct your meal eg, a lettuce, and it's not there, and the shelves are bare, you are naturally going to ask the nearest staff member if there are any in the store room. That you can't find a staff member to ask, other than by queuing for ten minutes in a check-out queue, can get pretty frustrating. For that staff member to give you an apathetic response on the lines of' if its not there we don't have it' can increase the tension a tad more.

Back to the aisle to look for an alternative, because as many on here are fond of saying, we must be willing to adapt, and not whinge if we are not lucky enough to have our preferred choice of ingredient, when all over the world, people are starving.

Right - do I go for that limp blackened spinach or the curly frostbitten cabbage to complement my main, or shall I buy the remaining bag of frozen mixed veg, looks a bit bashed but hey ho.......

Answer: Neither - I shop in the supermarket in Halifax before I go home. The liklihood of items I want being on the shelves is high. Totally locally sadly then is not for me, and nor I suspect for many other workers.
A good store eg a Booth's selling local produce is desperately needed in the town.

Maybe those unhappy underpaid Co-op staff could go and work for a company that cared about them and their customers?

From Martin F

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Jack: My experiences have been the same as yours.

I've lived in Hebden for almost 25 years and have probably spent a total of no more than £200 there in all that time.

The reason is price. When compared to other shops, not just Lidl/Aldi etc., the Co-op's prices are usually much higher. The other reason why I (almost) boycott the place is their '2 for 1' or 'Half-Price' "offers". They make me boil.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed one item marked as 200 gms for the price of 100 grammes. My experience of other shops told me that the usual price of that item was half of what the Co-op was trumpeting as its offer price!

I contacted Trading Standards re these 'offers' a few years ago but got the impression that they just weren't interested.

From Susan Quick

Monday, 21 January 2013

Hey let's stop bitching. I find the staff very friendly and helpful. And what's on the shelves compares very favourably - eg the veg is far better than Lidl. I once went to Morrisons: walked round for 1/2hr and found nothing!

Let's not forget where the profits of those big supermarkets go. They are multi-nationals which means they can choose to base their head office in a nice little country that won't bother them for too much tax. The Co-op is owned by its members - that's what Co-operative means. And at the end of the tax year we all get our dividend, don't we?

From Jack Hughes

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Co-Operative is owned by its members, you say. Then why should it seek to mislead said customers/members into thinking they're getting a bargain? I refer to the infuriating half-price offers mentioned above. As the observant may note, these offers refer to a higher price having been charged in over 70 stores for at least 21 days. In other words, a small fraction of stores have charged, say, £4 instead of £2 for an item, for 3 weeks. This gives them the right to claim that said item is now 'half-price' even though the item was previously going for £2 in the vast majority of Co-Op stores. Legal? Yes, just about. Ethical? Moral? Or just plain misleading? One expects this kind of sharp practice from the big bad capitalist chains maybe, but the Co-Op?

From Roger N

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Like Jack, I'm always slightly perplexed by this notion that the Coop is owned by its members, as though that makes it somehow unique. What do they get for their membership? Well, they get a dividend. They have a say in the running of the company but most of them choose not to use it.

Let's now look at Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrisons. They are owned by their members (shareholders). What do they get for their shareholding? Well, they get a dividend. They have a say in the running of those companies but most of them choose not to use it. And if the company is successful they share in that success - their initial investment becomes worth more.

Is the second model so much different from the first? Given that everyone reading this has a stake in Tesco et al - if not directly, indirectly through private, local authority, NHS and basic government pension schemes, I don't think so.

A lot of people are saying that, if any supermarket is built on Brown's field, it should be a Booths. Really? A privately owned company where all the profits go to the family? At least with public limited companies we all get something back.

Susan Quick attacks Lidl and Morrisons. It's pretty unsubstantiated stuff. In her opinion Lidl veg is not up to scratch, and Morrisons doesn't have what she wants. Well perhaps that's all the more reason to have a new supermarket in Hebden Bridge which will rise to the shortfalls of the others.

From Jane Luke

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

I cannot believe that somebody recommended Booths. It's much more expensive than any other supermarket. I thought this was about creating jobs and having reasonably priced food. Sorry but Booths would never work.

From Eleanor Land

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

I would like to count on the Co-op but I can't, their stock replenishment simply isn't good enough and their prices are too high. None of this is the fault of the long suffering staff in Hebden, I believe it is management failings. I drive to Morrisons in Tod., where I can count on them stocking most things. Their vegetables are extremely good value - with a lot of items costing only £1. Their baked items are very good. I can always find a car parking space and best of all their staff are extremely helpful.

From G Golden

Saturday, 26 January 2013

I feel like I'm walking into the twilight zone when I go through the doors (if they're not stuck)

I'm sure the staff are not very happy but they pass that on to the customer, with a few notable exceptions.

The store is a mess, queues, badly stocked shelves, over priced, some staff seem to know or care little, wheeled stock racks all over when store is open. They are too tight I presume to stock shelves when closed, which leads to many of these issues.

I only go in for a bottle of milk or so now.

The apathy has filtered through to the customers now that I can't even be bothered to write to complain. Would be sensible though.

Lulu B - does the organic shop a few doors down not sell Alpro soya milk? Or Pennines provisions? Or buy a blender, save pounds and make your own.


From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The simple answer is no.

The other I was in the middle of the usual queuing chaos and one of the more switched on members of staff (who is always helpful) called for more people to come to the tills.

Result - nothing.Not one extra person arrived.

So there were people in the shop till trained but no-one could be bothered to cut queuing time for customers.

I'm getting tired of people treating the Co-op like it is a corner shop. It is part of multi-billion pound company in exactly the same way Tesco or Asda.

Difference is the other big players are obsessed by customer service and tracked stock control.

If I go into a Sainsbury's Local or Tesco Extra then when there is a big queue people are called and they come to the tills. No questions asked because the customer always comes first.

The reality is our Co-op is badly stocked expensive joke. It got better for a while but has slipped back into its old ways.

Please don't give up moaning as that is what they want and they don't care because they have a supermarket monopoly in our town.

Last time we moaned like this the area manager was forced to act so let's keep up the pressure.

I should add that I find the staff ok on the whole but this chaos is a question for managers. The big four wouldn't tolerate this mess,

From Benny M

Monday, 28 January 2013

On Saturday last we were approached by the manager who noted that we are daily shoppers on Market Street. We were asked to voice our opinions, frustrations and general observations. He listened and assured us that he is committed to improving the service.

As of last week, a night shift has been introduced to try and solve the shelf stocking problem. The main problem seems to be a central restocking programme at central distribution centres. Branches no longer have the authority or the ability to order what they want. The computer decides what they are getting via tracking on till throughput!

The well noted attitude problem with "some" of the staff seems to stem from allocation of tasks, being told to do one thing whilst being expected to do another. Who are these mysterious team leaders who reside in the bowels of the building and seem to do very little work. The helpful members of staff are very helpfu; the rest are at best contemptuous.

From Myra James

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Stock control, queues and prices strike me as fair game and reasonable areas for criticism, whether or not you agree with the detail. However, I feel very uncomfortable reading such harsh criticism of staff and have never encountered there anyone I would regard as "contemptuous". It's probably not the most enjoyable of work, certainly not the best paid, and these are people - some are better at their job than others, some may have who-knows- what going on in their lives to pre-occupy them. I don't think they should be publicly attacked for whatever small failings they might have.

From Jason Elliott

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The thing is Myra, that in the "big four", some staff may be "better at their job than others, some may have who-knows-what going on in their lives to pre-occupy them" as well. Yet they manage to be welcoming and helpful.

Not that this is confined the big chains. The vast majority of our little indie shops manage it too.

Apart from the obvious exception of the big Geordie guy, who is a ray of sunshine, the general mood of the Co-op staff seems to be one of general dissatisfaction with their lot.

Sure, this is unfortunate for us as customers, spending 20 minutes in there every couple of days at most, but it is extremely unfortunate for the staff, who are there for many hours a week.

What is so bad in particular about working there? Who knows? Maybe it isn't unionised? Surely it can't just be about working for minimum wage either. As we know, many people work for minimum wage, the vast majority managing to stay relatively chipper under the circumstances.

Perhaps an employee of the company could respond to the concerns of this forum.


From Tim S

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I have been going into the coop for years. I think the staff do a good job, I have no issues on that front. And I do not think this thread is being harsh on staff.

My issue is that they should know what to order and stock in Hebden by now. Yet week after week, I find empty shelves. Sometimes produce, most always bread by mid week, the list goes on. They stopped serving sox mix in Hebden Bridge of all places, talk about not knowing your customers. Soya milk is a often out of stock.

I do think that we as a community cut the coop too much slack. They are a business, yes a coop, but still they need take care of customers, have enough staff working, and stock the shelves. I want to support them, I believe in the ideology, but our family can't keep ignoring the substandard levels just because we like the coop.

I avoid the coop as much as possible, if I am passing another supermarket I will stop and buy just to avoid playing "what will the coop not have today".


From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Like Myra, I'm uneasy at the way this thread is going. Individual members of staff certainly shouldn't be identified, for whatever reason. In any organisation some individuals will give better customer service than others, so let's accept that as given. I've been as critical as anyone of the Co-op, but recognise that its shortcomings originate at senior management level and probably affect staff as much as customers.

From Myra James

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

OK Jason - I'd agree that the Co-op's human resources management might be a valid subject for criticism (although my experience of Co-op staff isn't the same as yours and others'). However, I don't like to see words like "contemptuous" targeted at members of staff as individuals. Impolite and unnecessary.

From Martin F

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Maybe I'm just insensitive but I have never been aware of staff being contemptuous or unfriendly or showing any such attitude (though, as I have said, I hardly ever go in there).

The reason for my few and very far between visits is simply price - sometimes in the guise of laughable '2-for-1' and 'half-price' offers.

From Dave R

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

My NY resolution to avoid the coop sadly failed this week and I was obliged to enter the store. Now I know I don't 'have to' go in, and I also appreciate that as a fairweather shopper I don't maybe have as much right to criticise as regulars.

I did feel uncomfortable with the 'contempuous' comment. I don't think it is fair to single out staff.

Sadly, the lack of good management/ stock control does cause one to feel frustrated at times, and I can see how staff not able to help can come across as not helpful, but I find more of a sense of overall apathy.
Anyway to the point - Can I count on the coop? No.

From Gary W

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I would like to add my voice to the chorus of justified criticism of this poor excuse of a supermarket. The co-op is under no pressure to improve as it has a monopoly in the town and this lack of competition means us consumers are the losers; especially poorer people, those with mobility problems or these without access to a car.

We should either have no supermarkets or 2 supermarkets in this town (I prefer the latter option). It is worth noting that when the co-op in todmorden was exposed to proper competition several years ago, it couldn't survive due to it's high prices and lack of attention as to the needs and wants of their customers.

How many people, like me, feel forced to do their shopping in Tod or elsewhere? Empty shelves, manky veg, high prices, not enough tills open, grumpy staff (apart from some notable exceptions) and most infuriating of all, special offers that don't show up on the tills meaning you have to keep a beady eye on each item scanned and then ask for the receipt to check for over charged items. When I raised this problem with a supervisor, she said it happens no more there than it does in other supermarkets and didn't even apologise for over-charging me again.

From Roger N

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I have a feeling that nothing will change.

Every now and then, this issue is raised on Hebweb, and sometimes it even results in a meeting with the management of the Coop. Promises are made to try to do better, but here we are in 2013 with the same old uncooperative shop.

I totally agree with Gary W. The Coop needs some healthy competition for the 'trolley shop'. It's simply not good enough to send along two smartly dressed young men to the planning committee meeting to object to the proposed supermarket on Brown's field - of course it's the easy option for them. Another supermarket in town would mean they'd really have to react rather than pacifying us with their endless platitudes about how they'll try to do better in the future. They've had their chance and blown it.

There are most certainly hundreds of local people, myself included, who will drive to Morrisons in Tod, Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys in Halifax simply because our town denies us the price and choice that others have. Oh for the chance to stay locally and be able to buy the things we want at the right price! A new supermarket in Hebden would not only mean that the Coop would really have to respond or die, but it would mean that a lot of those people would also make use of the great shops we have in town.

If we don't get a new supermarket, a golden opportunity will have been wasted, the Coop will limp on, and the rest of us will carry on shopping elsewhere.

From Jenny B

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Many moons ago, I had a Saturday job in a small supermarket. The manager was lazy so the staff became lazy. Stock was badly handled, not rotated and often mis-priced. The shoppers could dispute the prices, send us into the back to find the correct price and grumpily we would amend it. I was lazy too, I was apathetic and de-motivated. I lasted 7 weeks.

Now, we have scanning, and this awful practice of asking if you 'want a receipt' (to save paper?) which actually allows persistent and illegal over pricing.

The coop is in my view, the biggest culprit of all supermarkets, although the response to GaryW that they are no worse than other stores and lack of apology maybe speaks volumes. Its not often that the coop customer is right.

They may then, wish to remove the crushed packet of biscuits that I placed back on the shelves yesterday 29/1/13, (shortbread if that helps). But as I couldn't see anyone to give them to, I did try to be helpful and place them on the next shelf in the hope that a lesser sighted person wouldn't pick them up. At £1+ per packet that would have been frustrating. Or maybe they might want to take that blown pack of discoloured bacon off display, again a visually impaired person may think that was fine to buy if I hadnt placed it at the front of the fridge on its own.

This isn't a rare occurrence and it is caused simply by poor quality control. Lazy management and lazy staff.

I dont really wish to 'diss' the staff either, but when you stand in a queue at one of 2 tills open, at school turn out time no less, only to be told the cashier is finishing as you reach the front, whilst it may be the first break she has had, don't they have till closing signs, or better still someone to take over? It can be mighty frustrating to then join a longer queue at the remaining one till.

Why do they have so many checkouts? Has anyone ever seen them all manned?

Would you, could you really rely on this store for your weekly shop?

Why shouldn't we keep up the pressure and fight for a decent store? If we had one, then maybe there would be less support for another.

From Paul Clarke

Thursday, 31 January 2013

No... tonight they ran out of cucumbers... epic fail once again.

From Richard Peters

Friday, 1 February 2013

Go to Littlebrough Co-op!

I was at the meeting with the regional Co-op guy two years ago and he made it clear that whilst some aspects of co-op ordering was controlled centrally, branches were part of the system. If you go to the Co-op in Littlebrough (not a serious alternative) you will not find the usual gaps in shelves. If you go to Oasis, you will also not find gaps. So it seems to me that the Manager is not and has never really been up to scratch.

On the whole, I find the staff pretty helpful, but if you have to work for a poor manager, it doesn't make you enthusiastic.

From Susan Quick

Saturday, 2 February 2013

I am concerned by the number of writers criticising the Co-op for a packet of broken biscuits; no cucumbers; "bargain" prices etc. etc. And saying that there is no difference between the Co-op and Tesco, Asda, Morrissons.

Co-op policy is to share profit with its members: "Co-operatives are not about making big profits for share-holders, but creating value for customers." (The Co-operative Group website). The principle of Fairtrade is embedded in this philosophy.

For other supermarkets profits for shareholders is the major goal, the customer comes a poor second. Producers in Third World countries are exploited, their needs are only considered when UK customers demand Fair Trade.

I lived and worked in Africa for 10 years. An average family spends 90% of their income on food: they eat what is available and what they can afford. What is available depends on the growing season. Here in rich Europe we've totally lost touch with growing seasons. Which is why we can kick up a fuss if there are no cucumbers in the Co-op, even if there is snow on the ground!

In Africa a packet of biscuits is a luxury - broken or not. I regularly invested a £1 in an out-of-date Danish newspaper, which I couldn't read anyway, to light my fire.

Isn't it time to move away from the demands of a consumer society and re-establish true values? Recognise the skills and knowledge of the shop-keepers; value the shops which they devote their lives to. Even if their joint of meat; their fruit; their loaf of bread costs a few pence more. Isn't the love, the care which comes with it worth more than a few coins?

From Jack Hughes

Saturday, 2 February 2013

I must say, Susan, that the Co-op's professed interest in 'creating value for customers' sits rather ill with the aforementioned edge-of-the-law, misleading '2-for-one' or 'half-price' offers, which seem to be about persuading said customers that they're getting a bargain when they're not... Just my thoughts...

From Gary W

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Hi Susan. I was just wondering if you would be singing the praises of the co-op just as vociferously if we had a different brand of supermarket where the co-op is and a new co-op was proposed for the Browns site in mytholm? Do you think that customers benefit from such a lack of competition?

The price difference maybe just be a few coins to you, but I'm afraid many people simply don't have the luxury of being able to 'choose' to pay more for their groceries.


From Andrew B

Saturday, 2 February 2013

I nipped to the Co-op this morning, the staff were polite, there were 3 tills open plus the kiosk, all with less than a couple of minutes to be served, I saw a couple of staff on the shop floor, I asked where something was and was shown to it, was asked if there was anything else I needed and was served at the till buy a nice happy bloke.

I managed to get everything I needed today (which is rare to be honest) even if the prices were in some cases 20% higher than I would pay in Halifax, but we pay this because the Co-op is not a supermarket, it's a convenience store/overpriced shop.

I don't think it's anything to do with them being a co-operative, more like we pay over the odds due to them having the monopoly, having lost an astronomical amount over recent years due to bad stock management and just because in general- we allow them to continue selling us overpriced but often lower quality products.

Despite having a good visit today, I still maintain that had we had a Sainsburys or similar on the Browns site, then I would have got one of the regular buses from Hebden and gone there.

One final note; I worked in the Co-op around 10 years ago, and whilst the customer is always right, if someone is rude to you then it is natural to maybe become slightly defensive in your response/willingness to help; these are people simply doing a job, and doing it well under difficult circumstances with regards to stock and with many customers openly complaining on this forum, but many of who won't have contacted Co-op directly!


From G Golden

Sunday, 3 February 2013

If we have to discuss the Co-op to living and shopping in Africa, to gain a positive comparison for the Co-op, I'd say that's a definitive NO to the question on this thread.

Of course if we were have a social, political or philosophical discussion, I'd likely agree Susan, but this is about justice for local people, many of whom shop at Co-op through necessity.
Food is something all people I need and we deserve better.

Many hard pressed local people are not getting value for their money and that is a valid issue.


Jenny B

Sunday, 3 February 2013

I think that somehow Susan is missing the point of this debate. Which is: Can we count on the Co-op?

To argue that as 'rich westerners' we have lost sense of the value of food is a valid point & one which I do have some empathy for. However, that isn't the debate. As a not very rich westerner and single patent to boot, I am afraid that to waste my £1 on goods not fit for purpose is very pertinent to me. It seems rather clever of Susan to suggest that the moan was that I had paid £1 for broken biscuits, and then complained, whilst at the same time emphasising her 'good works in Africa' to possibly nudge the guilt factor? When this was not the case at all.

Would I or indeed should I get more sympathy if I gave last weeks example whereby my £1 was spent on an in season turnip that was so rotten in the centre that I couldn't use it for my children's tea? Or should we simply accept poor quality goods per se from the co-op because, we are lucky to eat at all?

Do we really need a lecture on western greed, when the subject is Can we count on the co-op?

From Jack Hughes

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Does anybody else find the instore radio's mantra of 'the Co-Operative. With you for life [subject to availbiliity]' slightly eerie? Anyway, I think we've moaned enough. The dissatisfied can contact Co-Op Customer Services via this webpage.

Maybe if we do so en masse, the Herculean / Sisyphean task of making our local store a pleasant and affordable place to shop might come to fruition. I for one am not holding my breath on this, but am preparing a long and bilious screed....

From Jason Elliott

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

It would appear that the Co-op's idea of supporting the local community does not extend to our independent bookshop.

They are now working hand-in-hand with that other famously community-spirited beast, Amazon, to act as a collection point for books and other stuff.

All in the name of "freedom" I suppose . . .

From Gwen Goddard

Thursday, 7 February 2013

I e-mailed Customer Relations asking if they had read the Hebweb and got a very quick reply saying "We are aware of the issues in the store ............... we are doing everything we can to get this fixed".

From Paul Clarke

Saturday, 9 February 2013

No...they ran out of cucumbers yet again . . . epic fail 2.

Mind you they did have half cucumbers which for some reason not only an external wrapper but were encased in cling film...not very ethical!

Well done to Gwen for emailing the Co-op . . . hopefully we will get some long overdue action.


From G Golden

Monday, 11 February 2013

I made the terrible error of needing some shopping on a Sunday afternoon. Virtually no meat left, little salad or veg stuff, a smash and grab on crisp aisle (did I miss a massive unexpected buffet in Hebden?)
When I enquired about crisps (no Walkers at all) the lad on the till literally shrugged and said 'I dunno'.

I asked to speak to supervisor about it, she came out with a mouth full of food - lucky her - and was so rude and dismissive she said I've only just come on, half hour ago, (so why is she in the back eating?)

I've taken a photo or two of the shelves, I'm going to send them to the Co-op, I'm so bloomin fed up with it.

It does not appear 'doing all they can' would mean stocking shelves and teaching basic customer service.

I'm gonna stop going in, it's depressing me!

If you still care please complain on link above or 0800 0686 727


From Eleanor Land

Monday, 11 February 2013

I tried to buy one item yesterday, there were over 20 people queuing with 2 people serving at 3 pm on a Saturday afternoon. I gave up and left.

From G Golden

Friday, 15 February 2013

Part of Reply to my complaint of the shambles at co-op, hebden bridge.

"I can confirm that the Operations Manager is already aware of the Hebweb link and he and the store team review this on an ongoing basis to address any concerns raised. We did experience some operational issues at the latter part of 2012 following a significant change to the Management team.

He does visit the store at least twice weekly and in conjunction with the store team, local members, Hebweb contributors and customer feedback. He is seeing consistent improvements and feel the store is now operating within comparable levels to other stores."

So there you have it, it's all fine and sorted. Lol.
Don't know what this is saying about other stores!

From Paul Clarke

Friday, 15 February 2013

Thank you to G Golden for passing on that delusional nonsense thus proving why although the Co-op is a lovely idea it is useless as a supermarket operator.

What store are they comparing it to? Must be one modelled on a store in East Berlin circa 1978!

The only point of posting here is to vent as they are clearly not interested in our views.

Oh well, off to Halifax tomorrow to spend a lot of money in a well run and well stocked Asda.


From Roger N

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Hey ho! And there are still people who want to block the development of a new supermarket on Brown's Field. Oh to be able to stay in Hebden Bridge and do all my shopping locally rather than the weekly trip to Halifax or Tod!

I understand the Retail Impact Assessment that Calderdale requires from the developers is about to get underway. This will consist of various forms of consultation with businesses and the public. Let us hope it will conclude that drawing people into town rather than forcing them out would actually be of net benefit to the local economy.

From Jenny B

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Loudly & Clearly, The Co-op response answers the question of can we count on them? With a big fat dismissive and derogatory - No!

How on earth can we expect decent service or decent stock when senior management have their heads buried so deeply in the sand.

The response sums up exactly why we and they need competition.
My groceries will come via a non Co-op supermarket home delivery service. £100 the Co-op clearly don't want.

From Richard Woodcock

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Aldi on Pellon Lane in Halifax is good - the checkout can be a bit stressful because they're so quick, but it's cheap and has lots of good quality food and drink. It's where I shop now. It's a shame - I'm a believer in the social value of co-operatives, but the Co-op in Hebden just doesn't seem to be able to get its act together. I could live happily with an Aldi on the Brown's site, and would prefer it to one of the posher supermarkets - what's not to like?

From Gary W

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

It came as no surprise to read in the press today that the co-op is rated by customers as the second worst (behind Tesco) supermarket in the country:

waitrose 82%
aldi 74%
lidl 69%
morrisons 59%
sainsburys 58%
Co-oP 48%
tesco 45%

These figures, released by Richard Lloyd from consumer watchdog 'Which?' show that the Co-oP (which has an unfair and unhealthy monopoly in Hebden Bridge) doesn't even satisfy half of its customers. Conclusion? We need another supermarket in our town!


From Mick Piggott

Friday, 22 February 2013

The poor old Co-op has come in for a lot of stick lately, and with the local shops, much of it has been justified. I would hope that others, like me, have been able to shop at other Co-op stores around the country and see that they can be very well run. I have used Co-op shops in Elland, in the Dales and in Lincolnshire, and thus over a wide geographical area (the one in Louth is excellent, for instance).

Like many local people, I believe strongly in co-operatives and it's nice to be able to give a bit of praise where it's due. Following the public statement made by the Co-op's boss on TV, here's a copy of an email I have written to the Co-op's head office:

'My partner and I very much appreciate the honesty and openness demonstrated by Peter Marks over this issue, which contrasts with other businesses.

'While many people seem to take the attitude that 'It's all meat, what does it matter?', for us there are two main areas of contention:

1. Customers have an absolute right to know exactly what they are purchasing;

2. Beef - and other meats - have to meet standards which include veterinary inspection and certification. Horse meat has been slipped into the food chain without this, with the result that it may be contaminated by Bute, which is banned for human consumption.

'We feel that the rare honesty displayed by the Co-op through Peter Marks is in contrast with the readiness of most politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats to immediately prevaricate and lie when something is wrong. The public is rightly cynical about those people, and the statements by the Co-op and Mr Marks come as a very welcome breath of fresh air. Thank you."


From Graham Barker

Monday, 25 February 2013

Overcharging is still a problem. I bought two items at the Co-op today and was overcharged by over a pound. I went back and was refunded, but got only the most perfunctory apology.

That's the aspect that annoys me most. If Co-op staff were trained to apologise properly, these 'mistakes' might not happen so often. It's clear that with one or two exceptions, the staff don't give a damn.

If you don't want to be robbed, either insist on a receipt at the Co-op or shop somewhere you can trust more. Trust is important, but the Co-op just doesn't seem to get it. Oasis may not give receipts, but that doesn't bother me because I've never known them get anything wrong.

So if anyone from Co-op HQ is monitoring Hebweb, please get this properly sorted. Whatever you might have done up to now is nowhere near enough.

From Roger N

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

And another thing....

Why is it that the Co-op with its ethical and supposedly green credentials has fresh New Zealand lamb on special offer?

How can it make sense to transport meat from the other side of the world when we have a perfectly good supply from local farmers? The Coop pride themselves in owning farms in the UK. Are they favouring cheap foreign imports over their own home-grown produce?

Currently there's a slump in lamb/sheep prices in this country. Last year, lambs were fetching £90 or more. This year it's nearer £60. Some hill farms will struggle this year.

See also

BBC Radio Four: Hebden Bridge and its Co-op featured in this programme - about 11 minutes in (21 Dec 2012)

HebWeb Forum: Co-op Hebden Bridge (May 2012)

HebWeb Forum: Co-op Hebden Bridge (Jan 2011)

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