And there is no alternative supplier

Andrew and Sharon Carne wrote from The Old Boathouse in Penzance to add to the sad-to-say growing number of complaints about Booker’s lack of stock. The also sent me Booker’s latest business update sent to all its customers.

They said: “We run a small local store which mainly caters for the holiday trade – when we have some. We have a small handful of local and self-isolating customers in our cove who we are staying open for and are thankfully supported by some other people nearby who have changed their supermarket shopping habits to shop with and support us, else we would not be able to keep going.”

They make short and regular trips to Booker in Hayle but have found on the last three occasions an extreme lack of the basic provisions, such as tinned tomatoes, tinned fruit, flour, pasta and rice. Even Worcester sauce and toothpaste are missing from the line-up.”

They felt fobbed off with the ‘we’re all unable to get stock’ response at first. “But more recently, when we find that Tesco has all of those products and more readily available, we are beginning to smell a rat.”

They have asked the Booker manager to investigate and have photographs of the local Tesco (full) shelves as evidence. (I too have seen pictures of empty shelves at various Booker branches.)

“It is hard enough competing with the big boys without our key suppliers wading in on their side, too.”

The Carnes said they would vote with their feet but in the Far West of Cornwall they have little choice. “We could do with a latter-day David to give this Goliath a bit of a wake-up call as to who its customer base is.”