Budgens

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Syddders
Posts: 40
Joined: 5 May 2015 22:16
Location: Sydenham

Budgens

Post by Syddders » 9 Jan 2017 22:20

Couple of observations - was wondering if others feel the same:

1. Budgens is proving to be a pretty painful shopping experience since taking over from Co-Op.

Expensive branded goods, expensive non-branded (Happy Shopper) goods, several instances of being over-charged (normally when sale items are put through at full price), disinterested staff. It's weirdly quiet most of the time, while Lidl is busier than ever, so I can't imagine it can be making much of a profit - but I'm not a retail expert...

2. Billings staff don't wear gloves when handling meat, fish, coins. To some this may sound pedantic but much as I'd love to give them more of my money, it is beginning to put me off shopping there. Easily fixed I'd have thought - and no problems at all with the quality of the service or food.

Likelife
Posts: 147
Joined: 20 Jul 2009 14:21

Re: Budgens

Post by Likelife » 9 Jan 2017 22:38

I work in retail (in a department store) and I must stay it is not looking good for Budgens in Sydenham. I've only been in twice since it became Budgens and have no desire to go back. Staff look very demoralised, and its just empty. I think people just see it as something trying to be upmarket with no legitimacy, so its just seen as a rip off. Admittedly I'm a little biased as I have worked in the JL Partnership but its no Waitrose or M&S Foodhall in respects of quality and customer service. I'd love to see their sales figures, but I know I wont. I doubt the branch will last the year. I'm sure if it was going tomorrow, it would be snapped up quickly by another chain. It would just be a shame if the jobs are lost.

Kent House R
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Joined: 8 Nov 2015 16:26
Location: Sydenham

Re: Budgens

Post by Kent House R » 9 Jan 2017 23:56

Prices way too high at budgets and unappealing shopping experience.

The same large jar of coffee in there is over £7 and it can be bought for less tha £5 in Lidl! At those prices I would rather have m and s simply food.

I get all my little luxuries in Lidl now. Lovely range of antipasti, good wine selection and the smoked salmon packs are large enougj to cover several meals and make a wonderful midweek breakfast treat.

syd-gal
Posts: 186
Joined: 28 Nov 2016 15:38
Location: Sydenham

Re: Budgens

Post by syd-gal » 10 Jan 2017 09:09

I've never been in there. And when it was a Coop I only ever went in when I knew they had a special offer on something I use regularly e.g. Nescafe.

syd-gal
Posts: 186
Joined: 28 Nov 2016 15:38
Location: Sydenham

Re: Budgens

Post by syd-gal » 10 Jan 2017 09:09

I've never been in there. And when it was a Coop I only ever went in when I knew they had a special offer on something I use regularly e.g. Nescafe.

Ghlpc
Posts: 322
Joined: 2 Aug 2013 14:02

Re: Budgens

Post by Ghlpc » 10 Jan 2017 13:26

I've been in a couple of times, it's ok but I wouldn't do a big shop there.

Once when purchasing a bottle of drink the cashier advised that a 4 pack was on offer for half price, so was grateful he was attentive and allowed me to run and get it.

So they are not all disinterested. ..

For the gloves in billings. ...doesn't bother me too much tbh but I can see your point that it's easily solved.

However, I think it's because you can see your food being handled....surely a lot worse goes on in the kitchens of cafes and restaurants everywhere!...

Billie
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Joined: 20 May 2009 19:50
Location: Sydenham

Re: Budgens

Post by Billie » 10 Jan 2017 15:58

I must admit that the handling of raw meat and coins at Billings drives me mad. I always pay by card in there because don't want change covered in meat. Why do they do it? So odd because it's basic hygiene to not handle money and then handle food. Hopefully they will see this thread and change their practices.

sparticus
Posts: 223
Joined: 25 Jan 2013 13:56

Re: Budgens

Post by sparticus » 11 Jan 2017 09:31

The risk of contamination from coins which have been handled by someone who has been handling raw meat is very small. Most people come into contact with bacterial contamination of one sort or another every day, on door handles for example. Mobile phones have been shown to be frequent depositories of fecal bacteria. Our immune systems are pretty good st protecting us from everyday exposure to bacterial contamination. Good hand hygiene should be encouraged, but remember the story about the professor of microbiology who was challenged by a student who observed him failing to wash his hands after using a urinal. "My penis is clean, my urine is sterile, and you have got more bacteria on your hands from that door handle than I have from opening my fly" Those of us brought up in the ’50’s, before the modern obsession with cleanliness did OK. As my old mum used to say, as she scraped the mold off the jam "a few germs never did anyone any harm!"

Kingfisher78
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Joined: 16 Feb 2016 15:09
Location: Sydenham

Budgens

Post by Kingfisher78 » 11 Jan 2017 20:22

I completely agree with you Sydders. As soon as I enter Budgens, I want to quickly leave. For me, there is nothing there that creates a positive shopping experience. The products are expensive, and in my opinion lacking in quality. The packaging is unappealing, the posters and discount signs - 'SPECIAL OFFER' look like they belong in Poundland. The store is always empty, which suggests something about their popularity, and the staff always look like they are as desperate to leave the shop as the customers are. There are big open spaces, and the shop has no character at all. Lots of shelves are filled with ugly packaged bits like pens, glues, sewing kits, notepads etc. The problem with this being that the shop just isn't big enough to sell these sorts of items, especially as the selection of food is poor. For example, Co-op used to do a much better range of ready meals, pizza's, pasta, breads and cakes. It's as if Budgens have nothing more to offer as a food supermarket, and so they have tried to fill empty shelves with cheap looking bits for your home that we could get elsewhere on Sydenham High Street.

If I am honest, I really hope the shop closes soon. I was much happier when it was a Co-op. At a distance it may look similar, but at a closer look, the appearance of the shop and the quality and variety of its products is significantly lower. I REAAAAALLY hope that we could get an M&S Simply Food, or a Little Waitrose to replace it. Marks and Spencer are looking to open more Simply Food stores around the UK. I know some people will say the products there are too expensive, and it's true, I cannot afford to do my weekly shop there. But they are fantastic for buying a few bits there that are great quality, with attractive packaging. Marks and Spencer is brilliant because they don't sell a product using signs that scream in your face, they sell an experience. Their packaging, signs and posters are creative, and subtly hint that they are luxurious. Most of all, they really try to make their stores and products look pleasing to the eye, ensuring that customers return. I would really like to see a bit more luxury in Sydenham to ensure greater variety. If you wanted to do your weekly shop in Lidl, Tesco or Sainbury's to save money, you can. But if you wanted to buy a few luxury bits somewhere in M&S or Little Waitrose, you can do that too. If Downham can have a small M&S Simply Food shop why can't we?

In regard to Billings, I agree. But its important as customers that we actually tell them what we would prefer that they did differently, as they may never see this thread. it may be awkward and uncomfortable to tell them, but it's the only way that we can ensure a change is made, rather than hope that it will be.

Nigel
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Location: Laurie Park

Re: Budgens

Post by Nigel » 11 Jan 2017 21:28

Regarding Billings , as someone who buys industrial quantities of ham from them ( for personal consumption ) , In addition to fresh meats , all I can say is the place is spotless , staff are constantly washing their hands between serving hams and meats and sausages . Everything is handled in front of you , apart from some frozen stuff of course and it's all gonna get cooked before eating .
For me , no interest at all in plastic gloves - they use them in Subway and I would not eat there if you paid me .

It looks , smells and is , a clean place to buy meat - I wonder how well handled supermarket meat is - plastic gloves notwithstanding?

A very good evening
Nigel

biscuitman1978
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Location: Chislehurst; previously Sydenham

Billings

Post by biscuitman1978 » 11 Jan 2017 23:16

Kingfisher78 wrote:[It's] important as customers that we actually tell [Billings] what we would prefer that they did differently, as they may never see this thread. it may be awkward and uncomfortable to tell them, but it's the only way that we can ensure a change is made, rather than hope that it will be.
Indeed. Alternatively, those who are concerned could email Billings and point them in the direction of this thread - sales@shopbillings.co.uk

I did so a couple of years ago and, to their credit, Billings posted on the forum very soon afterwards to address the issue that was concerning people.

Sydenham Syd
Posts: 234
Joined: 30 May 2014 09:59
Location: Europe, until otherwise instructed

Re: Budgens

Post by Sydenham Syd » 12 Jan 2017 16:09

Nigel wrote:Regarding Billings , as someone who buys industrial quantities of ham from them ( for personal consumption ) , In addition to fresh meats , all I can say is the place is spotless , staff are constantly washing their hands between serving hams and meats and sausages . Everything is handled in front of you , apart from some frozen stuff of course and it's all gonna get cooked before eating .
For me , no interest at all in plastic gloves - they use them in Subway and I would not eat there if you paid me .

It looks , smells and is , a clean place to buy meat - I wonder how well handled supermarket meat is - plastic gloves notwithstanding?

A very good evening
Nigel
I actually wish there was a 'recommend' button for this post - Billings is, quite simply, a brilliant shop. Everything is clean as a whistle and I have never had an issue having been a fan since day one. Amar and the very experienced Hugh and Mike are real pros, and given that Hugh has now been a butcher for nearly 35 years and hasn't worn gloves, I'm pretty sure he never will.
Besides, don't gloves just replace skin so to speak? I mean are they expected to throw them away every time they serve someone? I think not.

Nigel, we totally fell out over the ref shambles, but I wholeheartedly agree with you here, for which I am delighted.

Nigel
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Joined: 22 May 2005 16:12
Location: Laurie Park

Re: Budgens

Post by Nigel » 12 Jan 2017 19:36

SydenhamSyd
From this day forth we will hombres of ham , brothers in brisket and musketeers of mutton !

A very good evening
Nigel

Parker1970
Posts: 403
Joined: 4 Nov 2014 22:36
Location: Kirkdale

Re: Budgens

Post by Parker1970 » 13 Jan 2017 11:13

Sydenham Syd wrote: Billings is, quite simply, a brilliant shop. Everything is clean as a whistle and I have never had an issue having been a fan since day one. Amar and the very experienced Hugh and Mike are real pros, and given that Hugh has now been a butcher for nearly 35 years and hasn't worn gloves, I'm pretty sure he never will.
Besides, don't gloves just replace skin so to speak? I mean are they expected to throw them away every time they serve someone? I think not.
I concur whole heartedly. My mum who lives in Streatham and my sister who lives in Essex get me to order their Christmas meats from Billings ever since I moved in as it is always such good quality.

Without going into too much detail, in my earlier years as a Tesco Manager the lack of gloves at Billings is not a concern to me considering what I caught a butcher at Tesco doing to a chicken once... (Before it was all prepacked). Billings is very clean and you do notice that they take all precautions against cross contamination if you know what to look out for :)

Sydenham Syd
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Location: Europe, until otherwise instructed

Re: Budgens

Post by Sydenham Syd » 27 Jan 2017 08:52

I see this morning that Tesco has bought Booker - owner of Bludgeons and Londis - two classy outfits.
Hopefully they will sell off the Bludgeons on the High St....back to Coop or someone

Parker1970
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Location: Kirkdale

Re: Budgens

Post by Parker1970 » 27 Jan 2017 10:22

Sydenham Syd wrote:I see this morning that Tesco has bought Booker - owner of Bludgeons and Londis - two classy outfits.
Hopefully they will sell off the Bludgeons on the High St....back to Coop or someone

Or perhaps they will close the small Tesco express and move it to the larger Budgens site? Whilst I am not particularly a Tesco fan (certainly as an ex-employee that was basically pushed out because I didn't "fit in" with their idea of a store manager), anything is better than Budgens.

leenewham
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Re: Budgens

Post by leenewham » 27 Jan 2017 10:32

That could be a winner if PFC then expand into the Tesco site.

butters
Posts: 61
Joined: 8 Jul 2016 11:36
Location: Sydenham

Re: Budgens

Post by butters » 27 Jan 2017 10:52

Hopefully if the Tesco becomes bigger they will staff it better. I have no idea who manages and recruits there, but they are seriously lacking. They have some terrible staff in there.

Parker1970
Posts: 403
Joined: 4 Nov 2014 22:36
Location: Kirkdale

Re: Budgens

Post by Parker1970 » 27 Jan 2017 11:30

butters wrote:Hopefully if the Tesco becomes bigger they will staff it better. I have no idea who manages and recruits there, but they are seriously lacking. They have some terrible staff in there.
Indeed. I stopped using it as soon as the Sainsbury Local opened. The staff there are very friendly and helpful and reaction to queues comes much quicker. At Tesco they don't seem to give a damn.

sparticus
Posts: 223
Joined: 25 Jan 2013 13:56

Re: Budgens

Post by sparticus » 29 Jan 2017 18:17

Tesco have put a bid in to buy Bookers, the wholesaler that owns the Budgens brand and supplies the stores. Booker does not own the stores, which are independently owned. Tesco has said that it does not intend to acquire more stores as it knows the bid my fall foul of competition regulation. So at least in the short term, it's very unlikely that there will be any major changes involving Tesco. It's a great shame that we lost the Coop, but a once-admirable business is now being run by a bunch of asset-stripping sharks. The same is true of Coop bank, which is busily closing branches and reducing customer service across the piece.

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