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Went food shopping today, wasn't that busy, considering

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Back with the family in Brum for Christmas.

 

Did some last minute food shopping today, which I was dreading.

 

Visited a Waitrose, managed to get a park parking space after hovering for a few minutes.  Inside pretty busy, but not catastrophic.

 

Visited a retail park with a Marks and Spencer.  I normally hate this place due to the parking, and was expecting my blood pressure to go through the roof (I don't drive that often).  Got a space straight away, and could see plenty of free spaces.

 

Managed to get a table in the cafe no problem (was around 12:00), clothes section fairly quiet.  Food section again pretty busy, but not totally manic.

 

Maybe people were more sensible than me, and decided to shop earlier in the week.

Or maybe my expectations are influenced by the press and the "panic Saturday" headlines, proceeded by mad Friday night with pics of drunken 20 year old women (yes I am regular daily mail reader).

 

(Just an anecdote, hopefully not too much of a boring insight into my life, don't blame me if shorting M&S shares doesn't work out for you!!)

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Three possible reasons. When i was a kid, everything shut down over Christmas,  from day before christmas eve to day after boxing day, hence habits of older people to stock up for an apocolypse, filling the chest freezer with 20 loaves. Now the only day supermarkets shut is christmas day and not the same need to stock up. There are also a lot more supermarkets now, so customers are spread thinner. Finally money could also be tight. 

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18 minutes ago, nothernsoul said:

Three possible reasons. When i was a kid, everything shut down over Christmas,  from day before christmas eve to day after boxing day, hence habits of older people to stock up for an apocolypse, filling the chest freezer with 20 loaves. Now the only day supermarkets shut is christmas day and not the same need to stock up. There are also a lot more supermarkets now, so customers are spread thinner. Finally money could also be tight. 

Yeah, I could have overestimated how busy it was likely to be mainly caused by the media, friends and family saying repeatedly shopping today was going to be a complete nightmare.

Edited by reddog

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21 minutes ago, reddog said:

Yeah, I could have overestimated how busy it was likely to be mainly caused by the media, friends and family saying repeatedly shopping today was going to be a complete nightmare.

Friday morning, 8 AM, our main Sainsbury's was heaving, and the car park full.

I think the weekend, with Xmas on Monday, has meant that people are not so panicky as usual, with their Xmas shopping being spread out more. If only Xmas could always be on a Monday!

Edited by onlooker
Added a sentence.

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Perhaps more and more shopping is being done on-line, too? Obviously you can't get everything that way (especially food), but at the margin, it reduces the number of trips into town.

Anecdotally, I've been pleasantly surprised by the lack of manic-ness vis a vis previous years, on my (very infrequent) shopping trips in the south. Beyond food, I have also been surprised to find everything ordered on-line arrived a day or two earlier than estimated.

Overall, I think it's very hard to guess the success (or otherwise) of the shopping season leading up to Christmas: it's reminiscent of Churchill's comment that in war-time, the truth is so precious she must be accompanied by a bodyguard of lies. The true numbers will emerge next year, and we'll see if this is the long-feared or -anticipated "pull-back" in spending, or yet another record year for sales.

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6 hours ago, nothernsoul said:

Three possible reasons. When i was a kid, everything shut down over Christmas,  from day before christmas eve to day after boxing day, hence habits of older people to stock up for an apocolypse, filling the chest freezer with 20 loaves. Now the only day supermarkets shut is christmas day and not the same need to stock up. There are also a lot more supermarkets now, so customers are spread thinner. Finally money could also be tight. 

This. Its pointless going mental for one day when shops are open xmas eve and boxing day. In the old days shops would be shut for much longer.

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9 hours ago, MrXxx said:

You wait until 30 minutes before closing tomorrow, the Tescos `scrum` will look like a `shore` night in Portsmouth! :-)

I don't need to go but am drawn to go and watch like a moth to a candle.  Maybe I must exactly because I don't have to.  A new programme idea - Goggleshop.  Help me, I'm falling.

Edited by Fence

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It's been like this for years. When I used to work in Safeway's 20 + years ago they would get a massive roster of folk on and it never turned out anywhere near as busy as anticipated.

I used to always go and get my Christmas presents on Christmas eve as it was usually the quietest of the week of the two before Christmas.

As already said - online shopping will have added to that.

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14 hours ago, Toast said:

Perhaps more and more shopping is being done on-line, too? Obviously you can't get everything that way (especially food), but at the margin, it reduces the number of trips into town.

Anecdotally, I've been pleasantly surprised by the lack of manic-ness vis a vis previous years, on my (very infrequent) shopping trips in the south. Beyond food, I have also been surprised to find everything ordered on-line arrived a day or two earlier than estimated.

Overall, I think it's very hard to guess the success (or otherwise) of the shopping season leading up to Christmas: it's reminiscent of Churchill's comment that in war-time, the truth is so precious she must be accompanied by a bodyguard of lies. The true numbers will emerge next year, and we'll see if this is the long-feared or -anticipated "pull-back" in spending, or yet another record year for sales.

Tesco , Asda , Ocado etc all deliver food.Also there is click and collect at Tesco just order online go to a separate building in car park and pick everything up all bagged and ready to go .

Also have likes of MuscledFood and Donald Russell to order Turkey / meat from

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5 hours ago, Fence said:

I don't need to go but am drawn to go and watch like a moth to a candle.  Maybe I must exactly because I don't have to.  A new programme idea - Goggleshop.  Help me, I'm falling.

Well I'm here.  All very nice and not too busy.  A few stress bunnies but there you go.  Turning into a nice day out.  Add a dog walk and then back for mince pies and medals.

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Love it Man of Kent.

Absolutely heaving with the usual sharp elbowed nutters here in the South East I'm afraid. People walking around with two trolleys! Distinct lack of supermarkets around here mind. Why build a supermarket when you can squeeze in a billion little sh1t holes instead.

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Very busy out (town in south east). Hardly any discounts or early sales . I’ve spent more this Christmas (partly due to increased in prices of items at shops) so I will need to reign in spending in January maybe into February.

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Maybe a south east thing?  Continues to be nice and civilised here.  Apparently experiments with rats show if you put too many together they start eating each other.  £125 for a turkey?  Need to be one to buy one.

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Wokingham incredibly quiet today. Camberley (The Meadows) was not all that busy either yesterday with plenty of car parking space. Every year they have a Carpark Lollipop Man with a sign saying "space here" and in the past he was a godsend but not this time, sitting on his bum having a smoke.

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10 minutes ago, Funn3r said:

Wokingham incredibly quiet today. Camberley (The Meadows) was not all that busy either yesterday 

Stratford Westfield was dead at 10am yesterday, starting to build up by 11 but no more than a normal Saturday.  Wanstead High St. like a normal Saturday yesterday afternoon, albeit a festive one.  Gloucester quays picked up at 11 today as expected, but by 1.30 the crowds were thinning.

If the retail industry was expecting a Christmas bump I'm not seeing it..

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32 minutes ago, Funn3r said:

Wokingham incredibly quiet today. Camberley (The Meadows) was not all that busy either yesterday with plenty of car parking space. Every year they have a Carpark Lollipop Man with a sign saying "space here" and in the past he was a godsend but not this time, sitting on his bum having a smoke.

Is the Bracknell shopping centre now open?  Competition?  Last time in Wokingham it was going through a refit.

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3 minutes ago, Fence said:

Is the Bracknell shopping centre now open?  Competition?  Last time in Wokingham it was going through a refit.

Very true actually Fence. Yes Wokingham is still a building site and yes the Bracknell new thing is open. I work in Bracknell but have only been to the new shops the once as they look spanking new but really are nothing special and you pay to park. One M&S is like another so I go to the free parking ones.

Everywhere still feels quiet to me and would not surprise me if they're all on telly in January saying footfall is down a bit and actual spend is down a lot.

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4 minutes ago, Funn3r said:

Everywhere still feels quiet to me and would not surprise me if they're all on telly in January saying footfall is down a bit and actual spend is down a lot.

Yep.  My retail relative defended business saying Westfield, etc were busy.  I asked how many had bags.  Went quiet.  However, things have surprised on the upside for a few years now.

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I popped in to Morrisons in our northern market town (I believe DurhamBorn knows it well!) an hour before closing today.

It was much quieter than anticipated and I hoovered up a pile of yellow-stickered goodies for the freezer - best of which was a lovely joint of beef reduced from £14 to 69p and four cod loins at 60p a pop. Total spend <£10 and will slash my food bill for the next month. Happy Christmas indeed!

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