I’m clearly on a roll with this…
Sent: 03/11/2004 19:33:43
Subject: Store opening hours
How excited I was, to see the new Waitrose store in Sheffield. The thought of a choice of foods – and particularly fresh vegetables – not seen in the local Netto made me weak at the knees.
All was going well, until I went to the store. Alas, it appears that the store is closed at all of the points when I would be able to shop there. 8pm closing! I’m all for bringing some traditional values to retailing, but antique closing times in what is meant to be a 24hour city is simply unhelpful. I’m at work until late, and need the flexibility of being able to get to a shop by the now common closing time of 9 or 10.00 pm. As it is, I am only just getting home from work when the shutters come edown.
Since the closing time of yesteryear means I shall probably never get to shop in Waitrose – unless I phone in sick, although such unethical behaviour might see me banned as incompatible with the store – I wonder if you would mind sending me some photographs of the interior (digital, by attachment, would be fine), so that I can get some enjoyment from your new premesis?
I look forward to hearing from you. There’s a space reserved in my photo album.
[They sent a very nice reply, some 28 minutes after store closing. To which I replied:]
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004
From: “Alex Veitch” xxx
Subject: Re: Waitrose Customer Feedback
Many thanks for contacting me so quickly in relation to my email on the Waitrose opening hours, and a request that they be extended beyond 8 pm in the week. I was heartened to see that your response was sent at 8.28pm, so wondered, initially, if my email had managed to bring about a change in national company policy. Sadly, on reading the content, it appears that this is not the case, and I can only assume that either the customer service centre stays open late in order to demonstrate its
finely honed sense of irony, or you were locked in. If it was the latter, I hope that you’ve now been released, and perhaps been given a cup of tea.
I notice that the email did not include photographs of the store interior. Shall I take it that these are unavailable at this time, and should I therefore perch next to one of the windows and take some myself when I can get down there? I would hate to stand out or look suspicious, as I am sure you can tell.
I appreciate that the store is open later on Friday night, and is also open at the weekend. Regrettably, once the shackles to my desk are released on a Friday evening, I tend to only have the strength in my legs to make it as far as the pub, and worse still, it takes 2 days to recover. And thats after only a pint. I am, also, very often away from Fridays to Mondays, in body as well as mind.
However, despite these constraints, I have found that since I went on the “Waitrose diet” I have lost approximately one third of my body weight, so there are some benefits to never managing to make store opening.
Many thanks, again, for your reply.
[I am looking forward to seeing if I get a further reply.]