Do YOU notice a difference in the customers in the different supermarkets?

March 19, 2009 6:20pm CST
In the UK we generally have a good choice of supermarkets, within easy travelling distance. Very often I will go to Asda (owned by Walmart) and generally find many working class people, the so called 'common' people shop there; they quite often seem quite "earthy" people, with not many 'hang-ups' and out to enjoy life and most certainly are not "snobbish". But I would get bored if I always shopped in the place, I also like to shop around for bargains and for different things that are not always available in every supermarket. A quite different supermarket is Sainsburys. Their prices are generally higher on average. The people who shop there, I would imagine, from the way they dress and look, also earn a lot more on average too! They tend to be more the 'middle classes'. The two other major chains in England are Tesco and Morrisons. They both tend to get more of a mix of people. Me, I like to go to them all. Recently, what with the credit crunch, people have been shopping around more. In the last few years, German supermarket chains have been greatly expanding; mainly Lidl and Aldi. They promote themselves on their discounts. Their stores are generally a lot smaller than the big four. Quite an eclectic bunch of people tend to shop here! In other words, a real mixture! It is fascinating to see the German slant on some of the goods sold here, though of course they have all the popular English foods too! WHAT would you SAY about the customers in DIFFERENT supermarkets in YOUR country?
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7 responses
@tea512 (688)
• United States
19 Mar 09
you are right about this, in the US we have a working class supermarket with a lot of store and national brands. the other yuppie store has for that is good for and only the bust. These the parking lot is filled with BMW and Mercedes. The blue collar store parking lot is filled with minivans and pickup trucks
2 people like this
• United States
19 Mar 09
That is so true. I had really never paid much attention but come to think of it, I am kind of laid back love t-shirt and sweats and whne I go into the higher end grocery store they give me kind of a funny look.
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20 Mar 09
Car parks (parking lots) are also an interesting view, at times. It was curious to see a quite upmarket looking car in the Lidl car park once!
• United States
19 Mar 09
I would say that here in the United States we get a cross over of people in almost every store. I usually try to shop around midnight because the stores are so crowded during the day. We have a Meijer grocery and merchandise store that most people shop at. It is usually filled with college students and everyone else in town. I laugh because you normally don't see a lot of men unless it is a holiday like Valentine's Day. Then Meijer is filled with men and they all have panicked looks on their faces. When the Walmart came to town they were pretty much snubbed by the "upper class." I put that in quotes because they think they are rich but we are a small town and they are average middle class for places like New York and Miami. There was a big protest about Walmart but I find it a pleasant, friendly place overall. People are much more down to earth there. Our small local grocery store normally has just the locals in attendance and there is always a chance of meeting someone you know. We have many ethnic small groceries and I always enjoy going in and talking with the owners. Sometimes we struggle with language but it is always a good time. Aldi is in our area. I have yet to visit this store. If it is German, my father would have been proud. Ah, what a wonderful life that we have so much to pick from. I remember when all we had was the corner grocery and you actually knew the butcher at the meat market.
20 Mar 09
Didn't realise Aldi was in the states! When I was travelling round in South America once this German tourist told me that the States almost became German speaking! Wow! That really would have changed the course of history! Of course when I was talking about Asda and Sainsburys, I was generalising, to a degree. The Asda store I go to mostly is very close to a large government department and so it is pretty convenient. Also, some people will just go to their closest shop and don't bother to shop around (very much). Interesting what you say about Wal-Mart. Our favourite villain of the piece tends to be Tesco, simply because they are the biggest chain in the UK. They have been caught in a few dubious practices, such as in their Chinese stores selling live turtles and such like for their customers to 'kill' at home. They justified it by saying it was part of the Chinese culture, never mind it definitely was not part of the British culture! Also, when I get the chance I like to shop in some of the independent health food shops we have in the area.
• United States
20 Mar 09
I grew up in a small German community in Detroit and my husband grew up in a small German community in the State of Washington. Usually any ethnic group that is first generation in the states speaks their native language at home and sometimes in church but the schools are all English or they have been. We both grew up in that atmosphere. When my mother was a little girl, she would bring her lessons home and taught her dad how to speak English. He was from Macedonia. We certainly are a melting pot over here. Usually by second and third generation we are American. I don't know if that's good or bad. I mostly think it is good.
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24 Mar 09
Well, there was at least one close contender for best response. Overall, I think your little aside about the men having a look of panic on Valentine's day clinches it for you! Thanks! dream.
@suzzy3 (8400)
20 Mar 09
To be honest there are the same mixture in all supermarkets I shop in sainsbury and I am not that well off,my husband works extremely hard for his money from 3am to 4pm driving a lorry nothing middle class about that,we shop at sainsburys because the food is good and the veg lasts over a week in fridge,I have tried asda and the veg goes off to quick and some of the meat went off,I have tried tesco and the store is so big and everyone bangs the trolleys I get lost and confused in there.I have seen people in tesco that are dressed very well and seem quite snobby,then there were the types that scream and swear at their kids the same in sainsburys as well they are all the same.The main reason I shop at sainsburys is because of value for money and good quality.For no other reason than that.xxx
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@suzzy3 (8400)
20 Mar 09
Just to add another point our Asda in west Malling is built in the middle of one the richest place in the southeast and is full of snobs with plenty of money my point is it is what you have go nearest to you or you would spend a fortune on petrol.xxx
24 Mar 09
Can certainly see your point. I don't drive out of my way to go to a supermarket. But what does happen, is that I go to different places for other reasons, and quite often a supermarket is en-route. Also, in my local town, I live quite close to the centre and can walk to the shops and different supermarkets with my day pack and bags (though don't visit them all on each visit - that would take too much time!) Cheers for your response, suzzy3
@paid2write (5204)
20 Mar 09
Working from home, I can go food shopping when other people are at work, so I mostly meet the unemployed and retired people, in whatever supermarket I'm in! My nearest supermarket is a Waitrose. It seems to be most expensive for many items, except for fairtrade bananas, especially when they bag up the loose ones and sell them at off half price. I go to Waitrose to find price reductions in fresh produce, or seasonal food items. It is definitely a 'middle class' store, and I'm probably the scruffiest and poorest person shopping there. The main difference I notice in Asda and Tesco, where prices are lower, is how people in their pile up their trolleys with a lot of cheap but unhealthy food, whereas in Waitrose people pay more for quality and healthier food.
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24 Mar 09
Yes, I always seem to have an expensive surprise when reaching the till, on the odd occasion, that I shop in Waitrose! Recently went to the Brighton Vegan Fayre, so have stocked up on quite a pile of vegan chocolate, which Waitrose have a good range of. Thanks, paid2write!
@maximax8 (27049)
20 Mar 09
When I shop for food what most interests me is getting the food that I like to eat. The situation is that not any of the supermarkets stock all the food that I need to purchase. Therefore I visit a variety of different supermarkets. Near to my home is Sainsburys and it is great with labeling some of its food suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It has quality food and a budget range. It has quite posh and busy types of people shopping there as well as retired people and mothers doing their weekly shop. Most of the people are middle class in there I would say. By comparison Morrisions is further from my home and it has just a few items that I must have. I only visit it about once every six weeks. It tends to get a mix of people. Prices are highest in Waitrose and I love to go there once a month. It is full of upper class and middle class people. It has some fancy food choices and never has any bargains. I go to Asda about once a month to get soya drink formula for my toddler son. It has cheaper prices and attracts working class people. I rarely go to Lidl or Aldi but when I do I see working class people and cheap prices. They don't stock many things that I eat but they are fine for kitchen rolls and black sacks. I go to the Co-op about once a month and it appeals to friends of the environment because of the company policy. I like to get their baby wipes and a number of other vegan products like shampoo, conditioner and soap. Friends of mine that live in Canterbury do all their shopping at a health food shop and they have a poor view of all supermarkets. Now we are in a recession most people are looking for savings. A money specialist on television promoted down shifting when shopping for food. He suggests that there are three or four ranges of food and there is little difference in taste between the most expensive than the cheapest.
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24 Mar 09
Hi Maximax, an interesting and wide-ranging response! As you can see, this debate has attracted some good responses! Curious about the health food shop in Canterbury; it sounds that it maybe be large with a good variety of goods - wonder if your friends still do all their shopping there, as from what I've read the "credit crunch/ recession" seems to be affecting a wide range of people. Thank you again for your response!
@emilie2300 (1892)
• United States
20 Mar 09
I think the customers in the supermarkets hear in Pennsylvania are equally the same poor middle class. I like to shop around for bargins also I am a bargin hunter. I will go to a different store to get a better deal.
24 Mar 09
Thanks!
• Philippines
20 Mar 09
I think in going to supermarket there are a lot people and the purchasing buyer of the people depends on once capability and salary.
24 Mar 09
Cheers!