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Local Talkback
Talkback is for the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about local issues and events.

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- GRANT WALKER (14th Oct 2021  23:14:56)

Sad state of affairs that Sainsburys finally used Covid as a reason to strip out the fresh fish and meat counters. These counters have historically reduced profit margins for a store but at the same time also massively enhance the customers shopping experience and range of products to choose from, particularly if you don't want to live off vacuum packed food.

Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisons etc immediately reopened these facilities in their stores when the time was right. Sadly not the sainsburys in Liphook which over the last 3 years has relentlessly reduced choice and quality of products available.

We can only hope this store gets bought by a better operator, as the only alternative now is to drive further afield to buy fresh fish or start living off pot noodles and vacuum packed garbage that they seem to think is progress in food retailing. Pathetic.

Re: Sainsburys
- AF (16th Oct 2021  07:56:19)

Perhaps it might now be a good time for an butcher/delicatessen shop to set up in Liphook.

Re: Sainsburys
- D (16th Oct 2021  17:13:22)

The last butcher in Liphook was the Meat Market at the top of Midhurst Road and it closed because it felt it could not compete with Sainsburys'.

Re: Sainsburys
- AA (17th Oct 2021  11:31:42)

When i used to work on the deli as a student at a different supermarket and sometimes the meat counter all the produce came vacuum packed we simply cut it out and put it on display. Then we sliced it if applicable (lots was pre prepared as the counter wasn't run by an actual butcher or not during my hours of work) and wrapped it in individual bags to hand to the customer. I'm not sure how it works now but I imagine it hasn't changed. Sure there is less packaging in theory if you bring your own containers but it has to be transported hygienically somehow, you just don't see that bit!

I love the sound of a proper butcher's etc and feel as if it would be welcome given recent desires to buy locally and cut carbon footprint and plastic use but I suppose someone would obviously do their market research and work out how in demand the idea is. Maybe it's not what the majority are wanting.

Re: Sainsburys
- Silver Shopper (17th Oct 2021  11:54:11)

Well Patisserie Valerie are now selling their wares in Sainsburys and seemed to be doing good trade when I called in yesterday. Obviously this is more lucrative for the company than a deli counter.
Sainsburys is now just a convenience store offering little more than the basics, if you're lucky.
Good quality meat and fish can be bought on line and delivered to your door, this is fine if there is someone at home to take delivery of a perishable package and then you have space to store it.
I think Sainsburys in Liphook is a lost cause such a disappointment as they do have a good range of products in their larger stores.

Re: Sainsburys
- k (18th Oct 2021  09:14:18)

For those wanting good quality fish try Country Markets - I believe Friday & Sunday - Russells Plaice near where Peacocks used to be - excellent never had such fresh Fish - beats the pre-packed stuff by ,miles Have to queue outside but worth it

Re: Sainsburys
- Daisy8 (20th Oct 2021  18:43:24)

We used to have several butcher's and a lovely fruit and veg shop in liphook, but sadly they closed because they said that they could not compete with a big supermarket.

Fresh produce can easily be brought online and i think lots of people are now shopping online due to covid. So maybe thats why sainsburys chose to close off the counters. More produce was probably going out of date than actually being sold so less profit.

The meat and fish were all vacuum packed and taken out of packets anyway, and put on display on the counter, so i dont understand the fuss from Grant. You can still use pre packed meat and cook from fresh. If we were lucky enough to have a farm shop in the village i am sure Grant would be first to support it.

Re: Sainsburys
- Gigi Baron (21st Oct 2021  10:31:36)

Excuse me, Grant Walker, but aren’t your eye-wateringly overpriced cocktails sold in a plastic vacuum pack? Not to mention being three times the price for similar product available at M&S in a neatly recyclable can. Perhaps it’s acceptable to sell vacuum packed but you don’t consume your own poison?

Re: Sainsburys
- paul (21st Oct 2021  22:44:28)

Sainsbury's supply a good quality of products to most people needs of shopping.
Yes one can buy elsewhere, but travel, timeout, and they have convenience of a local store.
The staff are the most welcoming, and helpful, I have experienced in a supermarket locally, and should be commended.

Re: Sainsburys
- With_Respect (31st Oct 2021  16:15:52)

I agree the staff in Liphook Sainsbury’s are terrific.

And also sorry to see the deli go for the reason that it’s handy and easier on the purse to be able to buy small quantities.

Also agree with Gigi that it’s a bit pompous of Mr Walker to sell the vacuum packs of alcohol but not want his ham and cheese packed in the same way.

Re: Sainsburys
- Christine (2nd Nov 2021  18:00:48)

I think that we all agree that the staff in Sainsburys are wonderful & have been nothing but brilliant over the last months & well before that too!
However, the closure of their cafe has been a disaster for those who used to grab a takeaway coffee or meet there for a coffee & cake or breakfast, before or after shopping or even enticing us into the shop without the intention of shopping, but doing some anyway!
It was a most convenient watering hole for those who met up with their friends (either intentionally or otherwise), combining an everyday task with social interaction. In some cases, the only interaction. The elderly are the worst hit, of course - the sheer convenience of being able to take the local bus, which drops you off & picks you up at the door, & being able to have a cuppa & a bun with friends whilst waiting for the return trip, was immeasurable.
I fully appreciate, & do not wish to detract from the fact, that we have some other very good coffee establishments in Liphook (not to mention Christine's lovely coffee at the station) who have all done sterling work in recent times, but it was the sheer convenience of it! I really feel that Sainsburys have missed a trick here on numerous fronts - it was nearly always packed & must have been a 'nice little earner', Is it still packed to the rafters with toilet rolls I wonder?!?! Such a shame & a serious loss to the village.

Re: Sainsburys
- Pauline Levi-Tilley (2nd Nov 2021  20:53:44)

I totally agree with Christine . I can fully understand the closure of the deli and the café during lockdown , but can't help feeling that Sainsbury's are now not only missing a trick by not reinstating either of the above , but feel that we , as customers , are being deprived , not only of the ability to see our fresh meat and fish , but also to have the choice of quantity, which you don't get with pre-packed .
Regarding the closure of the café , I really feel that it is a huge loss . So many elderly customers , in particular , looked forward to meeting up with friends after shopping , without having to leave the store , whilst waiting in the warm and dry for their transport home . The café was always well supported , so I don't see the logic in closing it permanently . Those missing out the most , are the more senior community , who are less mobile and are less able to walk to another coffee shop , and were frequently seen catching up with friends, on the week's activities and grateful to be able to sit down , relax and enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake .

Re: Sainsburys
- k (3rd Nov 2021  09:26:36)

I believe the closing of the Deli, fresh Meat & Fish counters is a national decision - I agree I think that this a big mistake - but lets face it - big supermarkets have killed off most of the Butchers & Fish Mongers in small communities. There are excellent Butchers in the area IF you have transport & Fishmonger at Country Markets is Excellent Sunday & I think Friday soon if not now. Lets hope Sainsbury's do live to regret this situation - guess only interested in economies of scale & not customer satisfaction. But it does give Butchers & Fishmongers a chance to regain their markets if they have managed to survive.

Re: Sainsburys
- Mike (20th Nov 2021  12:54:13)

Can people please express their support for reopening the coffee shop?
Surely Sainsbury’s would then realise how important it is to their customers and to their business.

Re: Sainsburys
- Don (20th Nov 2021  15:06:49)

Not sure how much support/demand there will be post Covid. Also two other very nice coffee shops in the village that have expanded during the pandemic, both with outside seating (some covered). Sainsburys coffee shop always seemed a bit half hearted when it was open as well. That being said we could do with a new Shanklys greasy spoon!

Re: Sainsburys
- Paul (20th Nov 2021  15:20:28)

I wonder how important a coffee shop is to Sainsburys nowadays? In most towns and villages, there are many coffee shop/ tea rooms that locals can go too.
The floor space to sell products, and this can make more profit for the company, and the shareholders
This far outways selling beverages and produce, and not always at busy times of the day.
Profit and selling is all with these guys, a convenient coffee shop for locals is sadly way down the list.

Re: Sainsburys
- Paul (21st Nov 2021  21:13:13)

I have it on good authority that a Starbucks and Argos click and collect are being installed in the store probably after xmas.

Re: Sainsburys
- rolli (22nd Nov 2021  10:53:32)

Starbucks - YUK, would rather drink out of a ditch at Radford Park than support what is a horrible corporate US franchise/business

Re: Sainsburys
- Mike (22nd Nov 2021  11:57:37)

Pre-COVID the cafe was always busy especially with elderly people doing their shopping. Also with young families doing the same.Starbucks click and collect or the coffee shops are not an alternative for them.

The sad fact is that Sainsbury’s has been downhill for some years now despite some excellent staff.Reopening the cafe with a healthy menu could do wonders.It would not reduce shelf space because it is the other side of the tills.

I know lots of people who were regular users of the cafe.Let’s get them back again!

Re: Sainsburys
- John (23rd Nov 2021  22:58:02)

Massive Supermarkets arrived and killed off many local businesses and now they have closed the coffee shop it’s giving some space back to a number of small independent local outlets yet many of you want it back?

Let some other businesses locally fill the gaps they left, Sainburys only had the coffee shop to value add your visit, they made no money from selling you a coffee and microwaved bacon butty for 75p, now they have taken their foot of the necks of some local businesses in that area how about going and supporting those businesses instead, you never know a fresh deli could appear to fill another empty retail slot and or another cafe.

We don’t have to give all our money to a supermarket, nor should we be demanding ultra cheap all the time. The only people I ever seen in that Sainburys cafe bought a tea and huddled around it for 3 hours whilst chatting to other regulars like it was a community centre

Re: Sainsburys
- B (24th Nov 2021  08:38:32)

I agree with a lot of what John has said but the last sentence hits the nail on the head.

People are mourning the loss of the coffee shop because it is a community centre of sorts, where people could meet an chat.

Re: Sainsburys
- Penny Williamson (24th Nov 2021  10:34:50)

John I found your last sentence offensive and spiteful. I agree people should support local shops wherever possible but in a free society this is a matter of personal choice. There are some very lonely people out there particularly at the moment and there was absolutely nothing wrong with anyone using the Sainsburys Coffee Shop as a meeting place and - shock horror – actually staying for more than the time it takes to drink a coffee or – as you so charmingly said - eat a microwaved bacon butty for 75p.

Re: Sainsburys
- rolli (24th Nov 2021  11:37:22)

Penny, in defence of John, just because you find his post offensive and spiteful does not mean he is wrong.

Re: Sainsburys
- Penny Williamson (24th Nov 2021  11:49:44)

Rolli, where in my post have I said John is wrong? He actually is spot on as B said. That was exactly the point I was making which you seem to have missed. As I said there are many lonely people out there at the moment and it was great that they were able to use the Sainsbury’s Coffee Shop as a meeting place just to buy a coffee, linger over a bacon butty and have a chat. John was denigrating these people for doing just that. I repeat his post was spiteful and offensive and will add for your benefit, but not wrong.

Re: Sainsburys
- rolli (24th Nov 2021  12:33:16)

Penny, i think you are missing Johns point that people were just hanging around the coffee shop, occupying seats having made a "token" purchase. If they were tramps or bikers I bet you would have a different view

Re: Sainsburys
- Paul (24th Nov 2021  15:23:41)

I think a lot of people are prepared to moan whatever Sainsbury's does. Perhaps we should be grateful we have actually got a supermarket at all. If people don't want to use Starbucks or Argos click and collect then that is their choice, at least there is a choice!
I used to see people use the coffee shop as a meeting place, nothing wrong with that, but a lot were overstaying and hogging the tables which put off a lot of others from eating or drinking there. Starbucks are renting the space so it's not a Sainsbury's thing, if nobody uses it then they will pull out.
Sainsbury's is a business, they need to make a profit at the end of the day and their coffee shop wasn't making a profit so it's natural to have closed it.

Re: Sainsburys
- Ian (24th Nov 2021  20:00:44)

I agree with grant walker sainsburys has let are village down no cafe shut meat counter and fish counter same stuff on shelf every week they think they own Liphook it’s a big let down to are village won’t let another supermarket in village I would rather drive ten miles and drink grants cocktails on the way good on you grant

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