The £1 sale of Woolworths has evoked much comment over the past few days, but Jane Moore of The Sun actually summed up the situation rather nicely.
The public didn’t fall out of love with Woolies. Its management fell out of love with the customer and started taking us for granted.
Woolies used to be a Godsend for busy mums. Then the scourge of “revamping” forced us to queue at one bank of tills often manned by a solitary member of staff who appeared to be moving in slow motion. Suddenly, decomposing while waiting... and waiting... to pay for an impulse purchase didn’t seem like such a good idea after all. Meanwhile, there would be a seemingly endless array of: “assistant managers” floating around with clipboards and a don’t-bother-me-I’m-busy expression.
She goes on to make the point that when the public has less money to spend, we're going to spend it where we're treated well and with some respect, citing restaurant Numero Uno as her example of good customer service. She concludes:
The customer is king and the greedy companies who forgot that and treated us as a virtual irrelevance in the boom years are paying for it now.
Couldn't have put it better myself...