Strange stocking in local supermarket

I like curries, and I know I’m not alone – it’s apparently the UKs favourite dish.  So, I am probably not unique in wanting to have a curry in the evening.  It therefore seems a reasonable thing to expect a local format store (like a Tesco local) to be able to supply said form of sustinance.  And, so they can, though it’s intruiging to see what kind of range they have.

GIven their market position, I kind of expect Tesco to really think through their range, to maximise the probability that the things their customers will want will be in stock – maybe more importantly that they won’t be out of stock of something that a customer really wants and might have reason to believe that they would have.

On the curry example, you can get frozen curry – but only an individual Birds eye chicken curry (fine enough, but hardly highbrow).  You can get 2 or three forms of fresh chilled curry, though all in ‘serves 2’ portions, even though the rest of the chilled meals are in individual portions.  You can also get about 4 different jars of curry sauce and various fresh meat, onions and the like you can have with them.  What you can’t get is curry powder.  I tend to avoid the sauces for fear of sulphate impacts, and I know that that puts me in a smaller group who’d rather make it from scratch … but surely I can’t be in such a small group that it’s not worth stocking even one row of curry powder.

Of course, I’m not trying to second guess whether my desire for curry powder really is such a low demand that it should be stocked without reference to some of the things that appear to have a higher demand since they do stock them.  Sage for example is clearly much more important since they have two rows of sage bottles.  And, there must be a lot of folks who have chicken quarters already at hand, but have a burning desire to make chicken chasseur becuase you can get packets of chicken chassuer, but not the chicken to go with it.  Of course, if you want mustard then your luck is in since they not only stock 3 different kinds of mustard, but have 20+ jars of each type, taking up multiple rows.

All in all, it feels like Tesco et al. have a way to go yet before they really optimise the local format.  If I were giving them advice it would be that shelf-front real-estate matters hugely, so don’t have more than one row of anything unless you use more than say 1/2 of a row on an average day.  And, get some curry powder!

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