Tesco in your pyjamas – should it matter?


Soon you will be able to stumble out of bed, and fall straight into Sainsbury’s, the smell of warm bread wafting in your nostrils. Some people already feel so at home in the supermarket they don’t even bother to take off their pyjamas.

In January 2010, a Tesco superstore (in the Cardiff region of St. Mellons I believe) banned people from shopping in their pyjamas; it was the first supermarket in Britain to introduce a ‘dress code’.  The online post about this story received more than 1,500 comments.

Supermarket Chic?

Why do we need to be an arm’s length away from one of the big four supermarkets? I don’t need to name them but chances are you have visited one of them within the last 24 hours.

Look around you. I know of a local ‘Stainsbury’ store that ‘negotiated’ with the local council to ensure planning permission was granted. I know of another ‘Fresco’ supermarket that now gaily sits where a lively local pub used to be.

The big boys are squeezing out the smaller retail outlets and encouraging us to think about and eat to an almost pathological degree. What obesity crisis? Let’s just make it even easier for people to shop!

Don’t worry about tripping over people in the doorway to your local supermarket, they’re not homeless, they just want to be at the front of the queue.  It won’t do to be too far away from the meat aisle would it?

“Birmingham has seen the number of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda stores increase from 19 to 104, while the number of ‘big four’ supermarkets in Nottingham has risen from 12 to 82.”*

If you are a local retailer or just someone  who just likes to see more variety on your high street, you can always check your local council website to see who is making local planning applications. This information is in the public domain and within a given timeframe, anyone can request more information or even appeal. There is the argument that these chains create local employment but local communities also need teachers, cleaners, vets, engineers, plumbers and of course customers to shop in all of the other retail outlets in the high street.

Many British high streets in major towns and cities are starting to look the same, which is a pity.  Shopping, even for fruit and vegetables should include an element of choice, but the global economy has lulled us into buying apples that aren’t knobbly and tomatoes that resemble perfect, rosy spheres.  Have the bright lights and dull conformity of supermarket shopping tricked us into believing that we don’t even need to get dressed to go there anymore? Or is going in your pyjamas a unique way of creating interest in what has become a terminally dull experience?

© Suzy Rigg

*Source BBC wesbite

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