I don’t know whether I’m making a mountain out of a molehill,” said Subash Inamdar, calling from Wine World in St Albans to complain about a competitor’s prices, “when there are lots of worse problems.”
Well, yes as he well knows: he is still trying to get his money back from fraudulent card transactions processed by First Data (Convenience Store 28 August) and I hope to bring you a better outcome when the Ombudsman finishes looking at the situation.
Subash’s point this time may be small, but I bet it’s one that riles a lot of you around the country. Opposite him is one of Morrison’s M Local stores pulling a fast one on those locals. “They’ve got 160g bags of Haribo sweets advertised with a recommended price of £1.09, reduced to 50p right inside the door near the till.”
Apparently, the locals are flocking there for their sweet fix and ignoring the fact that Subash is selling 220g bags of Haribo pricemarked at £1.
He was so ticked off that he rang up the manufacturer, Dunhills (Pontrefract), to complain. The lady he spoke to said, well, they are bulk buying… but pointed out that Subash’s offer was the better one. His point entirely.
We had a discussion over the ways in which Subash could highlight his better offer, from sticking it in the window to having signs outside, because he is having a very hard time. “They are killing my trade,” he asserted.
I made a few observations about perceptions. Morrisons M Local has only been there for two years and would still be bright and shiny. The fact that the chain has just been sold to convenience sector veteran Mike Greene means it will only get brighter and shinier when he rebrands it as My Local.
Subash agrees with me and is due to start a refurb along with an extension, long overdue, soon. I also wondered at the name. Passers-by may think, hmm, all about wine and not notice the Haribo or the rest of the mix.
Although he does well out of wine (sold one once for £60) it still only represents 30% of his stock. He’s in an affluent area and it irritates him that people think they are getting a bargain over the road yet will haggle over 5p in his store.