Sainsbury’s follows Asda in cutting meat, fish, and deli counters
Huge, orange supermarket Sainsbury’s will put 3,500 staff out of work by closing its meat, fish, and deli counters alongside 120 Argos stores — it bought the famed catalogue chain in 2016. The counter closure follows Asda and Tesco’s move to do the same in January this year; while the former replaced them with ready-to-eat brand partnerships, Sainsbury’s is yet to indicate whether it will replace its own, according to BBC News.
Chief executive Simon Roberts says the closure of the counters is in anticipation of “a number of shifts in our industry,” which amounts to a pincer movement of declining sales and insufficient investment in the staff training to raise those sales back up. While the novel coronavirus pandemic has seen some independent butchers, fishmongers, and bakers be able to take advantage of an initial capacity failure — the flour wars, the delivery slots running out — general behavioural trends suggest that supermarket customers remain averse to meat and fish counters.
The Grocer reports a general decline of around 15 percent in butcher counter sales from 2018 to 2020 across supermarkets. As a result, butcher counters and fishmongers have lost the butchering and fish ... mongering which add theatre and process; many have become lines of pre-packaged goods just like a supermarket aisle, just with a staff member behind them whose expertise supermarkets now consider surplus to requirements. [BBC]
And in other news...
- Great British Bake Off 80s Week took the classic ingredients of a hot tent and an ice cream challenge and delivered the baking drama the show has missed most of this season.
- What this month of coronavirus lockdown means for restaurants in London.
- The week before lockdown came in saw restaurants and diners scramble for a last meal out.
- Pubs and restaurants can serve pints and other “open” drinks provided they are pre-ordered, according to new government legislation — clarification does not always mean the emergence of a loophole. [Big Hospitality]
- Good tweet: