Friday, December 31, 2004

Making Life Taste Sour

I receive a letter from Sainsbury's informing me that they are introducing a minimum spend of £25, excluding the delivery charge, for their online shopping service. As you would expect these days, this is "to ensure that we continue offering you the high levels of service you expect."
Well, Ms Claire Harper, Head of Marketing, it will ensure that your delivery men will never darken my door again because I will switch to one of your competitors.

At a time when Sainsbury's are getting their arse kicked all round the High Street by Tesco, which marketing genius came up with this idea? Possibly the same one who decided to give customers a one hour delivery slot that was very difficult to achieve and then pay them £10 if Sainsbury's were even one minute late. (We customers loved it, of course. I've had £30 out of them, without even setting up bogus traffic diversions).
I immediately emailed Tesco and I'm indebted to Sunil Kumar for promptly replying that Tesco has no minimum value spend for their service. I replied that they should stand by for a flood of Sainsbury's defectors.

It's particularly ungrateful of Sainsbury's since regular readers will know that I have given them valuable product placement in The Adventures of Carlo. You may recall that Carlo was wont to give Wayne, the delivery boy, a cup of coffee and make small talk about root vegetables. However, in real life Sainsbury's have recently been sending me gentlemen much older than myself who seemed to be graduates from the Victor Meldrew charm school and bore a striking facial resemblance to root vegetables themselves.

Here are a few reasons why Sainsbury's can stick their dubious cost-benefit analysis up Jamie Oliver's arse:
One third of British households are now single people. Their online shop will often be slightly less than £25. But for the elderly and people with disabilities, online shopping has been a godsend.
Sainsbury's have a wider social responsibility, not just to those people, but to the environment. The growth in online shopping has a significant effect in reducing car use and pollution.

And don't forget that there was already a delivery charge which meant that, if they delivered to ten people in my area at one time, they could pocket £50 on top of the profit on the groceries.
We all know capitalists are greedy bastards but do they have to be so fucking stupid as well?


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