Saturday, 7 January 2012

Food Retail Sector Nostalgic For 1862

Britain’s supermarket chains have set their sights firmly on the salad days of 1862, when their predecessors could cheerfully demand the equivalent of £1254.17 out of every single shopper, every single week, according to a wistful slice of nostalgia in this month’s Grocer Magazine.

“Can you imagine charging 74 times what we do now, just for a grape?” exclaimed a spokesman for Marks & Spencer, wiping away tears of joy. “We certainly can.”

The Victorian Value range
The delighted supermarkets are also eyeing up great price-adjustment opportunities in pineapples, melons and tea, among other foodstuffs which modern shoppers take for granted.

“Of course, in Victorian times the grocer faced stiff competition from a strong self-sufficiency movement - or ‘growing a turnip in the back yard for Christmas’, as it was quaintly known back then,” pointed out a titled member of the Sainsbury family. “And market penetration was somewhat lower than it is today, due to deaths from malnutrition.”

However, the supermarkets are keen to point out that not everything in 1862 would have cost you an arm and a leg or any hope of reaching your 40th birthday.

“Your friendly, helpful Victorian grocer simply wouldn’t have dreamt of asking you to pay for many everyday items,” the magazine pointed out. “For example, there would have been no charge at all for an HDTV, a microwave oven or a box set of the Shrek movies. That was all part of the service.”

“However, due to the costs associated with shipping these items all the way from China nowadays, that’s one olde worlde price our subscribers regret they won’t be passing onto their valued customers,” it added.

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