Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Supermarket Argument Doesn't Stand Up.

It's a great one-liner - "They are going to turn QVM into a supermarket", but what does that really mean, and isn't it more correct to say that supermarkets are trying to turn themselves into markets like QVM?

Here's how Wikipedia describes a supermarket - "A supermarket, a large form of the traditional grocery store, is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food and household products, organised into aisles. It is larger and has a wider selection than a traditional grocery store ......."

So, in many respects (scale and variety) QVM is a supermarket. Where we fall short is in categories like canned goods, and household supplies. Also, we adhere to shop service rather than self service in most of our food categories, perhaps with the exception of fruit & vegetables. But when it comes to fresh food variety, scale, and knowledge, we are at the top.

Supermarkets have spent a lot of money trying to look like us as the photo shows. In most supermarket fruit and vegetable departments you simply add a friendly face behind each counter, lower the prices, and you have a remarkably similar copy of QVM. Who is copying who?

Opponents to QVM renewal plans list the provision of cool stores as "supermarket like" but aren't cool rooms just giving our traders more flexibility and less likelihood of wastage (and therefore lower prices). Supermarkets also have running water and electricity so maybe we should think twice about providing those facilities in the renewal. (Sorry, that was a cheap shot.)

QVM is a super market. We have nothing to apologise for and as long as we maintain those ingredients of personal service, quality, low prices, and freshness, we will stay true to our uniqueness. If renewal can make it easier to excel in those areas, then bring it on.