Co-op Accused Of Failing The Islands

sheila thomas co-opThe Co-op’s Hugh Town store is failing the islands by not doing enough to provide essentials for locals.

That’s the view of some islanders who have taken to social media to voice their frustration about a recent lack of basic goods like milk and bread.

Earlier this year the Manchester-based management of the national chain promised to improve service and stock levels following the appointment of a new store manager.

But in the past week, many locals have complained about empty shelves and mouldy perishables. One local has alleged that milk three days past its sell-by date was on sale.

Accommodation provider Sheila Thomas is one of the residents who has written to the Co-op to express her dissatisfaction.

She says she understands the quay at Penzance is still being repaired, but there should be no problem loading goods onto the Gry.

Sheila says she wants a “proper” service where customers can get everyday items regularly, “so we can live.”

She’s worried the problems with the Co-op will affect our tourist industry, particularly with the Gig Championships coming up soon.

Sheila says she wants to support the Hugh Town store and tries not to use mainland suppliers, but that’s becoming more difficult. She feels the local manager should be more visible and talk with shoppers.

Responding to the complaints, a spokesperson from Co-op head office says there is no excuse for mouldy produce. They say the store team will endeavour to carry out more regular and thorough checks.

The Co-op added that issues with bread availability should now be resolved, as they have amended their delivery process to ensure better availability.

The problem with a lack of milk was caused by human error and has now been rectified.

The Co-op says that the store is impacted by the delivery options available and they are currently in discussions with the Steamship Company about returning to the six-day-a-week delivery schedule for some fresh lines. This will help them cater for the higher demand during high season.

They’re very conscious of events such as Gig Weekend and the store team is altering stock order levels to cater for the expected increase in demand.

They say that their new store manager is passionate about improving the service for locals and he has been working hard to get to know the store, staff and islanders.

The Steamship Company says that they are working with the supermarket and other freight customers to make sure the islands are fully stocked, especially for Gig Weekend, with ample freight capacity being provided.

The tourism and business body, the Islands’ Partnership, will meet with the local manager today in a pre-scheduled meeting. Amanda Pender says they will discuss complaints about the store, which their members have raised.

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