Last weekend the current Mrs Headlander and myself took a quick trip to the beautiful environs of West View to visit Mrs H’s sister, Camella, as we were invited over to watch the rugby World Cup Final. As we were confident that England were going to easily win the game we decided to stock up with extra drink to ensure that we had plenty of alcohol with which to toast our glorious boys in white-with-a-bit-of-red. So myself and Camella’s husband, Boss Hogg, took a trip to the nearest large purveyor of fine beers, wines and spirits… Netto.
What a soul-destroying experience this was! We entered the yellow and black shed masquerading as a store and made our way past the racks of plastic things and discounted garden strimmer toaster freezers (or whatever this weeks offer was) to be greeted by a whole raft of product recall notices for items that have been on sale during the past few weeks! Hmmm… It didn’t fill me with confidence this.
After passing the green plastic boxes of fresh vegetables (mostly empty… but in all fairness this was a peak shopping time on a Saturday afternoon… perhaps it had all been sold!) and racks of what can only be described as tat which were taking up a whole aisle that could be used for selling a greater variety of food, we got to the drinks section. On a positive side, as I was walking around my training by Mrs Headlander meant that I did spot a few very good and cheap food offers… 4 tins of Heinz baked beans for a quid for example.
After the initial store experience, surprisingly the drinks aisle wasn’t too bad. There was fair selection of wines from the lower end of the market and quite a good selection of beers in a bottle – all much cheaper than Asda or Morrisons… I think… I can’t be too sure as another quirk of Netto came into play here – about half of the goods aren’t priced, you have to take them to a machine several aisles away where you can scan them and find out the price.
This is kak. If you can’t tell me the price (a notice will do… not every item needs to have a little label on it) then I won’t buy it. I was ready to walk out and head for the bus stop to go to Asda or Morrisons but Boss Hogg was adamant that everything would be OK and convinced me that the savings we were making were worth the chew.
He selected some bottles of cheap and cheerful wine and I selected about sixteen or so bottles of beer when I noticed something really odd. There were no full strength spirits on sale, there was vodka on the shelf but on closer inspection of the bottle it was revealed to be about 20% abv instead of the more usual 40%. As Mrs H likes a vodka and tonic and as this washis local store I enquired of Boss H where the hard stuff was. It turns out that all the bottles of spirits are kept in locked, wire cages at the tills… and that the range is very limited… but they’re cheap.
So we headed for the checkout with our trolley full of sustenance. There were only two checkouts open and there was a huge queue at each of them. Once again I was keen to abandon the trolley and make a dash for a real supermarket but Boss Hogg once again castigated me for my lack of patience and after some cajoling he convinced me to wait the fifteen minutes to get to a checkout.
At the checkout, after ordering a bottle of vodka and the checkout girl liberating the bottle from its metal-grilled prison she noticed that we were buying lots of drink and very little else and as she was passing them over the scanner commented on this by asking us if we were having a party. I’m sure she was only being friendly but my limited store of patience finally gave way and I commented:
“No… We’re feeding all of this to the kids for their tea, along with a Greggs pasty and some micro chips. Afterwards I’m going to sell one of them to a dealer so that I can get some crack cocaine!
She just looked at me blankly. I continued:
“Sorry… just trying to fit in with the general ambiance of the store”.
Fortunately she didn’t understand any of this and I left accompanied by a cringing Boss Hogg. Netto is certainly very cheap and good value for money but has a limited range of goods, little fresh food and no customer service to speak of… but hey – I guess you get what you pay for!
Oh yes and we lost the bloody rugby as well!