Co-op Apologises Again For Food Shortages In Scilly

Empty shelves in the Co-op this weekend. Photo by Jane Hurd.

Empty shelves in the Co-op this weekend. Photo by Jane Hurd.

The Co-op has apologised again to its customers in the Isles of Scilly after shelves were left empty over the weekend. But they’ve chosen not to explain why there’s been so little fresh produce over the past week.

Last week islanders took to social media to complain about a shortage of fresh goods including a complete lack of milk.

A Co-op spokesman told Radio Scilly that technical problems meant supplies hadn’t been possible and promised that shelves would be stocked on Saturday.

However islanders have again posted pictures of empty shelves on social media over the weekend.

Some have suggested that Co-op headquarters have lost data of previous ordering patterns during an upgrade of their software.

We went back to the Co-op to ask what had gone wrong but they wouldn’t give details.

Instead, a spokesman told us yesterday: “We were able to get a limited supply of milk to our St Mary’s store on Saturday and there will be milk on the shelves this afternoon. Normal deliveries will resume tomorrow.

“The Co-operative Food would like to apologise to its customers and re-assure them that we understand the unique supply chain issues that apply to our St Mary’s store and we are putting in place procedures to help ensure this doesn’t happen again.”



9 Responses to Co-op Apologises Again For Food Shortages In Scilly

  1. Peter September 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I think maybe the whole Co-Op seems to have a bit of an IT problem at the moment? Their “Co-Op Energy Group” has been having horrendous problems due to a software upgrade that has been going on since at least the start of the year. I applied to join in February and they haven’t managed to produce a bill yet!

    • Peter September 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Hi Peter. Peter here. I’ve noticed before that there are now two Peters contributing to the discussions. It’s the first time we’ve cropped up on the same item. It might be confusing for readers, so, just to clear any confusion, I’m the annoying one.

  2. Peter September 24, 2015 at 11:49 am

    The problem says more about the Co-op generally than it does about the Scilly branch. I want to like the Co-op. My parents owed much to the socialist principles of its founding fathers. But it’s rubbish. Here on the mainland our local Co-op, a large supermarket, closed down and was replaced over the course of a weekend by a competitor which runs a much more efficient and customer-focused store. Just as on St Mary’s, we would go to our local Co-op to get items we needed – popular items – only to be told that they had sold out and couldn’t get any more because “we have had our quota for the week”. What kind of business madness is that? Here is a popular item, our customers want it, we can make money by selling it to them, but let’s not. Other people local to us had the same experience. The fault lies not in Scilly but at head office. Let’s face it, any organisation that could appoint Paul Flowers as its Chairman, with his obvious problems, must be in trouble.

  3. Linda badcock September 23, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    For those that live here, nothing other than praise for the team who service the community should be proferred. The past few days must have be stressful due to no fault of theirs, I and my family appreciate your humoured service. ????

  4. Adam Morton, St.Martins September 23, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I cant imagine any supermarket with any sense would touch Scilly with a barge pole! I went to a blue sale meeting a few years back where people were asked to come up with 2015 headlines, the best one was “helicopter still technical”. The irony of course being that the very next year BIH pulled out of the service! The porthmellon store is a similar story to most Scilly economics, if it was profitable -someone would have bought it or still be doing it! The provision of stores has nothing whatever to do with the Council.
    The only thing that will affect Scillies prosperity is regular and cost effective transport. For that the Council and its electorate is largely to blame. Despite claims to the contrary the IOSC IS a partner in the huge projected overspend on the quay project which will have negligible effect on our transport links. That money and that spent on equally superfluous projects means there can now be no hope of better vessels or any underwriting of the service in the form of a freight subsidy. So there will continue to be little preoccupation with loss leader products when people import the profitable lines from other supermarkets on the mainland!

  5. Jeff Eastick September 23, 2015 at 12:53 am

    I would have thought that the projected revenue stream would preclude any would be Coop competitor from contemplating opening a new outlet in Scilly.
    From my dealings with the store last year in sourcing a substantial wine order for a family wedding on the Islands,it would appear that whilst the manager we dealt with tried to be as helpful as he could, he lacked the experience to complete the order to our total satisfaction. Perhaps a transfer to Scilly is unattractive to the more experienced management staff and rather than vilify the Company , I would suggest that the Council do whatever they are able to persuade the Coop to provide an experienced manager , albeit on a short term secondment, to get things running smoothly and to train junior management to the required level.
    Recent events seem to emanate from a systems failure on the mainland and local staff , whom we have always found to be polite and helpful , should not be blamed for the present situation.

    • Morris September 23, 2015 at 8:27 am

      It is important to remember that for a high percentage of the year the Co-oP and it’s staff do a great job at the furthest end of a long delivery chain and lets be honest the very-very last organisation they should be guided by on anything to do with management is the frankly abysmally managed council.

  6. Elderflower September 22, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Do you really think they are queuing up waiting for the opportunity, really?

  7. Joyce Burnett September 22, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Perhaps it is time a more reliable supermarket chain was invited to open a branch on St. Mary’s