www.barrowvoice.co.uk First Publised 1975
Barrow Voice
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The ‘New’ CO-OP - The Opening

They did us proud! The reopening of the CO-OP on Friday May 18th saw a razzmatazzy, sunny return to the High Street of our one and only supermarket. After six weeks of closure and £700,000 expenditure there was certainly a tremendous desire for its doors to reopen. The Pop Up in the car park had been better than nothing, but basics get boring and pricier Waitrose needs a car.

By 11am the Queen and Prince Harry had arrived, which was good of Harry as he was marrying the following day, and pupils from Hall Orchard, one from each class, had helped our Parish Council’s Wendy Woodhouse cut the celebratory CO-OP tape. Amazing what a large pair of foam scissors can cut. There were special promotions to encourage people inside, £2 off if you took a pic, and the array of fresh veg that met you was impressive. Outside a contented hedgehog helped raise money for new hedgehog homes and guides and brownies, with home-made fuzzy bugs, encouraged you to choose them as a CO-OP Local Cause. Then food appeared - scones with jam and cream, sausage rolls and CO-OP stickered cupcakes: pity they forgot the CO-OP stickered Prosecco.

Feedback

A small survey of shoppers showed that there were some positives and some negatives for the refurbished store. Among the positives were the wider aisles, giving the shop a lighter and more spacious feel. The baskets on wheels were appreciated, particularly by the older generation, and in the main, the cabinets were approved of, but some said it was difficult to find items.

On the negative side several shoppers were disappointed that some brands were no longer on the shelves, including many of the CO-OP's own brands. The checkouts also got a mixed reception: some saying that the ratio of staff-operated tills and self-service ones was wrong: there should be more staff-operated ones. Others really liked self-service card payment, saying it was much quicker, which just goes to prove you can't please all the people all the time!

Gaynor Barton and Val Gillings