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French supermarkets...


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I love that other customers and not impatient and don't shove you up the bum[:)] with their trolley (at least if they do by accident they say Pardon).

I don't feel stressed out in supermarkets here, as people stroll around like they are in a museum.  Whether that is a good or bad thing depends on whether you are in a hurry.

Georgina

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Love the wide isles, local seasonal food range of cheeses and fresh fish. Local Auchan had a Jacuzzi full of Lampreys last week. Like the priority check out for expectant mothers and the infirm which people respect. Love being able to park without circling the car park for 10 minutes waiting to pounce on the space when somebody leaves.

Hate the lack of discretion for cashiers, you do need two other people to correct a 50 cent error.  Hate the ‘it is not my line’ attitude and that means you can spend half an hour waiting for somebody to take your order for garden furniture that they sent out the publicity for last week. Hate the people who cannot use both lanes to either enter or leave. Hate the people who swing across from the right hand lane because they have spotted a space to their left.

Did watch a very entertaining accident – low speed no damage to people where two shoppers decided to drive across an empty area at 45 degrees only to find each other.

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Checkout rage.......... That's what they give me.

People queue in the 10 items or less.

They pass all their purchases through, they bag them up and then after all this they then start to rummage in their bags for their purses. Once found they then sort out all the coupons and hand them to the cashier. They then have another rummage for the dreaded cheque book, which takes an age to sign and complete. After all this they then pack the purse and cheque book back into the bag and have another rummage for the car keys before they move away from the checkout.

Why oh why can't these people come prepared and have everything ready. Express checkout..... not on your life

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I hate the women that pounces on me at the self serve check out, just because I am foreign.  I dare not hesitate for one second because she just takes over and does it for me!!![:@] whereas the French can hesitate as long as they like.

Georgina

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[quote user="Georgina"]

I hate the women that pounces on me at the self serve check out, just because I am foreign.  I dare not hesitate for one second because she just takes over and does it for me!!![:@] whereas the French can hesitate as long as they like.

Georgina

[/quote]

Ref the above can you please supply department, town an supermarket. At my tme of life it sounds pretty good

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[quote user="J.R."]Having just come back from 3 days in England I can say emphatically that (here) I love the lack of screaming undisciplined kids "expressing themselves"![/quote]

we get a lot of that here - funnily enough it's nearly always in English - strange that !!

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A supermarket is a supermarket is a supermarket. Whatever its geographical location. Of course, the produce will differ, there will be indifference or helpfulness of varying degrees from the staff, each supermarket will have a larger, smaller, but equally frustrating percentage of its checkouts open at any given time.......but what's to like or dislike? It's a bit like asking whether I prefer French tarmac or British tarmac. It just IS.
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Quotes from other replies (sorry, I don't know how to do quotes from two or three posts)

"Love the wide isles, local seasonal food range of cheeses and fresh fish. Local Auchan had a Jacuzzi full of Lampreys last week. Like the priority check out for expectant mothers and the infirm which people respect. Love being able to park without circling the car park for 10 minutes waiting to pounce on the space when somebody leaves."

"I love the lack of screaming undisciplined kids "expressing themselves"

Well that just shows how things vary. Apart from the biggest and newest hypermarket, miles away, we get cramped crowded smelly shops with the same old boring stuff year-round, very little fresh goods, and no shortage of unruly kids and trolley rage, especially on Saturdays and market days.

"French supermarkets don't sell nearly enough Fairtrade stuff.   Maybe one jar of coffee in your average planet-sized supermarket."

Well, that's one think that our area seems to do better. We have whole shelves of fairtrade, usually the same size as the English shelf.

I don't see any difference in crowding between French and English. You have to choose the time of day when you go. Give me the 24-hour Asda or Tesco any time, when I do my English shopping there are more shelf fillers than customers. At least Tesco has a decent number of checkouts, and will open more when needed.

By the way AR, be careful with those lampreys. Remember what they did to Henry I (a Norman king of England).

WJT, you are a person of taste and discrimination, I agree with you.

 

 

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Some of the French supermarket chains are operated as franchises. This means that there is little in common between the way two Leclerc or Geant outlets operate. On the other hand all Tesco stores operate under a single management regime. And it shows.

I find that shopping at Tesco is a more agreeable experience than shopping in French supermarkets. The staff are trained to be customer focused - in general they are polite and helpful and friendly. I wish I could say the same about Leclerc.

 

... and as for screaming children ... do we really need a Fairyland France contribution here?

 

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Generally speaking I find English supermarkets cleaner and brighter than their French counterparts. They have a wider range of stock, including Fair Trade items. While in theory I'm not too keen on 24 hour opening, I like the fact that I can shop in an almost empty supermarket late at night or early in the morning.

I think the English staff are better trained; they are certainly more attentive to customers.  I have been  through check outs in France where the operator was on the phone the entire time.

Some French supermarkets smell awful, this is something I've never encountered in England.

Fellow customers and their kids can be irritating in both countries, but one thing I don't see happening in the UK on a regular basis is the one where two or three women go shopping together and one stands in the checkout queue  while the others fetch the goods. Sometimes they haven't finished their shopping when they reach the till.

I don't think French loyalty schemes are up to much either.  I find the Tesco one quite good; here, after three summer's shopping in Shopi, I got two wine glasses.

Just my experience.

Hoddy

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[quote user="Clarkkent"]

... and as for screaming children ... do we really need a Fairyland France contribution here?

[/quote]

 

Its not Fairyland France here in my locality but I suppose it is not Dordogneshire either[:)]

It simply does not happen in my locality, however the minute I step on board a ferry to travel to England it commences and doesnt stop until I am back on French soil or perhaps in my region.

It was something that I had just grown used to (in England) and accepted until I travelled the world before coming here, and to be fair I never appreciated the lack of "expressive children" when I travelled through Latin America. I was impressed that children could endure an 18 hour bus journey over terrible roads without a seat, sitting/sleeping on the floor but hadn't really connected with the lack of screaming etc until I arrived back in "westernised culture"  in Auckland New Zealand.

The tantrums etc in the supermarkets were even worse than England, one day I was in a quiet museum when I heard the oncoming assault of what sounded like one or two coaches of excited children, but no it was just the advance of the chidren of two oblivious mothers.

I mused on this for a long time and at first decided that a junk food diet and carbonated drinks were to blame but this could not explain the huge difference between French and English children, after all I do see a small proportion of families buying exactly the same junk food here.

In fact I do sometimes hear a few French children creating in the same manner (but not to the same degree), they were the children of families similar to the above, the phenomenon starts about 2 weeks into the summer vacances scholaires, I concluded that it had taken that long for the effects of good nutrition and schooling to have worn off.

And so ClarkKent Yes I do think the contribution is valid here, it may seem like Fairyland to those in England or even those who live here as ex-pats rather than immigrants but it is just normal society in my poor region.

I really wish that you could have come to the pic-nic/barbecue that I went to yesterday, we were about 40 in all (I was the only immigrant) more than one third children between the ages of 3 to 14, not a game boy in sight, no tantrums or histrionics over an eight hour period, just well adjusted companionable children who were at equally at ease with all ages.

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Anybody who sees French children as universally quiet and well-behaved was obviously not on a ferry over the Easter period. They may be the very epitome of  'seen but not heard' in the presence of their parents, but en masse it's totally different. It does seem to have changed over the last two or three years, I can't entirely put it down to the clouding-over of the rosy specs.
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Mmmm.....French Children! I live near a tourist trap. We call it Windsor, for convenience. During most of the year, coachloads of French schoolchildren are deposited in central Windsor and left to their own devices. I see absolutely no more redeeming qualities in them than I would find in similar groups of schoolchildren from any country let loose on a school trip in any other country. I don't mean they run round bullying old people and shoplifting, but it's really interesting listening to them talking (loudly) at the tops of their voices about the people around them, working always on the assumption that they can't be understood. They hang about on corners, smoke, walk six abreast, oblivious to the fact that they're blocking the pavement, they throw stuff around......in short, they do what adolescents the world over do.

Which is a rather long-winded way of saying "I agree with Will".

 

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Betty/Will

I will soon be able to confirm whether they are in fact better behaved in my area or will behave like your visitors in Windsor when away from their society. For in two weeks time I will be taking a coachload of 14-17 year old non-acedemic French kids on a day trip to the UK!

Regarding blocking the pavement, when I arrived here I was confronted by a group doing this surrounding a mobylette, I intended walking straight through them as I do in the UK (I refuse to cross the road and accept defeat but I am usually subjected to some choice phrases) one of the group here saw me, told the others, they all moved out the way and apologised and wished me a good evening!

My original comment regarding screaming kids should really have been aimed at the parents who encourage this behaviour by rewarding it. 

I am sure that away from the parental influence and with their peers, French kids show their true colours, as did I. But I have to say even the dropout troubled adolescents in my area are far more polite and communicative than I was at their age 30 years ago. There is just no comparison with their equivalents in my old area of the UK.

They are of course different areas which are not representative of either country as a whole.

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Yes, JR, that's the point, I think! I wish you luck doing what you're doing, as I'd rather stick needles in my eyes. Before taking this thread any further off track, my younger son (an adolescent with exactly the same qualities and faults as any other) went to Paris last year with the school. Staying in a hotel in Paris's northern suburbs, he had his MP3 player stolen from his hotel room, and classmates had other items of value, and cash, stolen from theirs. Neither the hotel staff, the police nor the tour company were particularly helpful nor sympathetic. In addition, he and his group were practically imprisoned in their hotel each evening as there were intimidating gangs hanging around the hotel car park and threatening them if they went out.

Fortunately, one of my son's good qualities is his ability not to be judgmental of a whole nation based upon one series of unpleasant experiences. He's spent enough time in other parts of France to know that his Paris experience isn't typical.

Another long-winded way of saying "I agree with you"

 

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[quote user="PeterG"]

They pass all their purchases through, they bag them up and then after all this they then start to rummage in their bags for their purses. Once found they then sort out all the coupons and hand them to the cashier. They then have another rummage for the dreaded cheque book, which takes an age to sign and complete. After all this they then pack the purse and cheque book back into the bag and have another rummage for the car keys before they move away from the checkout.

Why oh why can't these people come prepared and have everything ready.

[/quote]

That's the way women do things the world over - multi-tasking ? Pah !! [:D]

John

not

 

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I don't know if this is typical of all french supermarkets, but Champion here stock locally grown seasonal fruit and veg, also poultry and, I think, pork products, and other local specialties. I haven't shopped in the UK for a while to compare but do find that these fresh products are full of flavour and good quality. I remember Waitrose sells good quality stuff, but expensive. Pat.
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I went to our local Champion last Saturday morning, something that i avoid normaly, but I was having a weekend guest and had forgoten some things. One of these "things"was Ice-cream........you cannot have a child to stay and not buy some for desert , can you?  I nearly gave up and felt like driving the 12 k to the next supermarket!

The price tickets for cornetto/champion own brand cornets was infront of the Mars ice cream, 2 girls were rearranging the whole freezer, they had a couple of pallets of the stuff to put into the freezer and as a few people were also perusing the freezer (this was family shopping day after all) the staff were huffing and tutting as we were getting in their way. So you pick up your choice and then make your way along the freezer to try and match a price ticket to it.........I ended up with Champions own version of Vienetta as there wasn't anyone near those to upset!

Go in the store midweek and there isn't a pallett to be seen.

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Tesco's, who are they. we alwaysshopped in Waitrose in the U.K. In fact the last time our lovely waitrose bags were used was today in Tournasol our local Bio supermarket here in Carcassonne. We use them all the time. As for the supermarkets here they are much the same as anywhere else, but I have never had so much good wine offered in any U.K. s/market as I have here, even Waitrose.

I do find the staff in our Intermarché very helpful and the Logimarché in Trebes is just like an Aladins cave with everything stacked everywhere, but almost anything you want will be there somewhere. If it's there and you can't find it then the staff will bend over backwards to help you find it. Great stuff!!!

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When it comes to food..... quality and quantity.... our Super U is nowhere near as good as Tesco.....I have noticed that Super U seem to be moving away from being a food outlet into stocking everything else .......If  I want  a car battery.....Super U will have one ...fishing tackle....no problem.....motor mowers...... loads of them ......bag of nails and paint   good choice ..and so on.....decent tender beef ..........now that I wont find ....but .good selection of fish .....I will .
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When the Tesco's opened in Stroud I told one of the supervisors that she was luck to be able to work there. She agreed and said it was goo, dut why had I asked. My reply was that all the time she was at work ahe didn't have to look at it from the outside. It is amn awful looking place and totally out of place in Stroud! For some reason she was not amused, no sense of humour I suspect. One of the nice things about Tesco's was that they admitted that they were trying to out price the small shops in the middle of Stroud. Knowing thus they would have to shut down and more people would use them!! Lovely attitude.

I have never liked Tesco's. SuperU in Trebes is good though. We don't get much meat from supermarkets, we prefer to use 2 local traditional, friendly butchers.

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