Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Shop Talk - Tracy West

The phrase 'I don't believe it' is the title of this month's column as I am in full-on Victor Meldrew mode. Firstly, I couldn't believe the story of the chap who went into Greggs (the bakers) to buy a loaf of bread, only to be told they don't sell bread any more. Surely that's just the same as going onto a petrol forecourt and being told they don't sell petrol?

If you didn't catch the story, it is absolutely true. It came to light on Twitter (where else?) where a bemused customer said he'd tried to buy a loaf of bread in Greggs. In response Greggs said if products weren't selling they delisted them. But they're a blimmin' bakers! Greggs apparently has changed its range in accordance with customer shopping habits so still bakes bread but mostly seems to use it for sandwiches. But in response to the Twitter furore it conceded that some of its shops still sell actual loaves of bread perhaps they need a 'hunt the Greggs with bread' app?

I'm not a big fan of Greggs everything I've ever bought in there has been cheap and nasty, but I know they are very popular. Mr West, for instance, loves their hot sausage rolls. But I just think it's a shame that when there are very few bakers left on our high streets, the ones that are left can't be bothered to sell bread.

On to 'I don't believe it' number two and it's the apparent popularity of self-service tills. In an him! survey, where shoppers were asked what would encourage them to visit a c-store more often, the top answer was self-service tills. Oh how I hate self-service tills. I've realised that a big part of that hatred comes from the fact that I am left handed and everything seems to be the wrong way round. And what is even worse than being told that there's an unknown item in the bagging area, is the drippy staff member who is on standby nearby to help customers who cannot get through these tills like me. I try to explain that these tills are taking their jobs but they don't seem to get it and they never agree that the tills are a great big fat pain in the ****.

The tills are also said to aid criminals in getting away with goods they haven't paid for. I don't know how they do it. Every time I go to a self-service till I set off some sort of alarm because my bag is in the wrong place, or I haven't put something in my bag or oh, I give up! They're meant to speed up transactions but they certainly don't for me.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 14 October 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands131.62139.76127.57
North East131.03141.66126.72
North West131.3657.70141.67127.65
Northern Ireland129.55131.90125.63
South East132.5757.90140.14128.33
South West131.8867.90138.74127.41
West Midlands131.33140.68127.66
Yorkshire & Humber131.0784.90140.64127.33

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