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BBC: "The death of the weekly supermarket shop"

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" 'I tend to avoid the big stores as there's so much choice and they're very busy,' says Gaynor Francis, a 37-year-old working mum of two.

"She does an online shop once a month, which she supplements with weekly top-up shops, typically at convenience stores, for essentials such as fresh fruit and veg and milk.

"Today she's doing a rare top-up shop at the Sainsbury's Sydenham superstore, a hypermarket in south-east London, but she hasn't enjoyed it and has ended up spending more than she intended.

"... Like many urban areas, competitors to the Sydenham store are not far away. Just five minutes away on foot there's a Lidl, or if you turn the other way a Tesco Express.

"It's this kind of proximity to rivals that has helped fuel the dramatic change in shopping habits. New Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe said the industry had 'changed beyond all recognition', with 'customers shopping very differently to the way they were shopping even a year ago'.

The Guardian:
"Why super-markets are on the way out: The business model is as broken as that of banking – and Aldi and Lidl offer no magic fix"

"Empires often seem at their most indomitable shortly before they fall. The march of the supermarket giants across our food and shopping landscape has, until very recently, felt inexorable. There is barely a small town in the country where the big chains have not planted their ring-road retail sheds – however strong the local opposition – and it seemed there was no part of our consuming lives they did not want to capture.

"Yet suddenly here they are in precipitate decline in the UK: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, skirmishing over falling sales, cannibalising their own profits with a price war, belatedly throwing margin cuts at the threat from the German discounters Aldi and Lidl. Asda’s parent company, Walmart, has cut its profits forecast too.

"Tesco, its share price plummeting, has beaten a strategic retreat from brand new multimillion-pound stores while regulators investigate the extraordinary scandal of a £250m hole in its accounts. The fall of this empire looks as though it will be fast. I believe it will also be irreversible."

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