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.



9 Responses to Co-op Accused Of Failing The Islands

  1. Moaner April 13, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    That is what everyone seems to forget, we live on an island! We are lucky to have a coop! They could quite easily pull out and we would be left with nothing! Quit moaning and make the most of it, or order from bloody tesco if you’re that upset with their service!

    • cassie April 14, 2014 at 11:43 am

      It’s all very well to tell people to quit moaning but when you’re staying in self catering accommodation and you’re trying to buy basics for the week, it’s a bit demoralising when the shelves are empty. Also when a member of staff can’t be bothered to be courteous when you are asking about home delivery but is all smiles to a local who is behind you !

  2. Woodrow Wyatt April 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    That’s the problem Linda Badcock. You hit the nail on the head.
    YOU are satisfied with the store and their range and choice. The people who keep the islands viable don’t agree. If tourists are unhappy they will not come back and we will all suffer. It is good that you told us what people were saying but you should think about the consequences of what you have said and how it could affect us all, instead of an “I’m allright Jack” comment. Dont fool yourself. If there are fewer tourists a number of services that we take for granted will end. We have seen it start already and if numbers fall further will there be the need for all of those flights or tripper boats? Scilly must the tourists what they want. We have to apply pressure to the Cooperative Society to take their responsibility to Scilly seriously.

    • LINDA badcock April 13, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Please, please,please, just how little patience do people have, local or visitors and just how much food choice do we need. Our Co-op stocks are varied, yes at times we are unable to get an item but find an alternative. I have on the odd occasion had to wait in line at a mainland supermarket for an essential item whilst on a break over there and accept the wait and do not huff and puff.
      I personally welcomeVisitors to these beautiful islands but we are islands and in no way can we expect the same huge range offered by the mainland supermarkets.no one will starve.

      • nimis non est satis April 14, 2014 at 7:55 am

        I’ll take your mainland experience and raise it with standing in the co-op queue – when an employee gives a nod to a local who moves to a closed checkout which is miracously opened!
        Stocks will be low – but out of date goods or mouldy goods on the shelves?

  3. Praggett April 13, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Just wait until the planning application from ASDA comes before the Planning Committee, that will wake the Co-op up.

  4. LINDA badcock April 12, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Just back from shopping the Co-op found everything I wanted/needed. Comments heard spoken by visitors.
    a. It’s like a third word country in here
    b. not much choice, is there.
    c. Not like our mainland Co-op
    d. It’s like a camp site store
    WELL I NEVER
    the reason for these comments
    a. Having to wait in a queue to checkout
    b. Selecting biscuits, there was a good stock on offer as I could see whilst finding my Ryvita.
    c. Having to wait to checkout, four people in front of them.
    d. The stock on offer was not what they wanted even though their shopping basket was full of food.
    I do feel for the team working the Co-op, at the time of hearing these comments the shelves were well stocked, the tills were manned by three team members and one member was looking for an item that a customer had asked for.
    Well done I do appreciate all of you.

  5. Nobby Nobbs April 10, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    No Bananas AGAIN!!!!!

  6. Mike Brown April 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Messaged the Co-op last week via Facebook & received this reply today:

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your email. We’ve listened to your feedback and the Food team have been working with the Operations and Regional Manager who have now advised that all of the Isles of Scilly store orders have been unlocked in the system and the store will soon be receiving very big deliveries to ensure we can support customer demand in the area.

    Thanks,
    Emma