Supermarket trolleys free so long as it is not too hilly

Finally. Finally.... the story that made me sit up and take notice this week was not the Brazilian national football team forgetting how to play football (collective amnesia, is that the term?). It wasn't even the incarceration of a once-popular kids' cartoonist. No, it was Morrisons scrapping the £1 trolley 'deposit' scheme.

According to Morrisons 43% of customers found it 'inconvenient', while 27% often didn't have the correct change. Well I would go as far as to say that I never have the correct change. In fact I never carry coins. In fact I rarely carry cash.... I often have to borrow money for parking from a small child, who has started charging interest.

I became the customer Morrisons probably hate. I would go in to the store and ask for a token - a lot of people didn't realise they offered that service, but I made sure I took them up on it, regardless of whether I actually had a gleaming one pound coin burning a proverbial hole in my pocket or not.

I mean, seriously, what kind of deterrent is £1 anyway? What can you actually buy with £1? Two packs of Panini World Cup stickers? A can of Coke? Certainly not a small bottle of Coke... £1 is not worth a great deal any more in the general scheme of things. If you wanted to steal a supermarket trolley, losing £1 wouldn't stop you.

Interestingly, it is not being got rid of in all stores. No, it is being kept in 'city centre stores' and 'stores on hills'. Presumably in a city centre store on a hill, the risk of theft of trolleys is so high that you have to offer your first born child as security. This also raises the question why people on hills steal supermarket trolleys so much? Is it to transport their shopping up the hill, in order to make it easier, or is it erring delinquent youths riding down the hills in trolleys 'Denace The Menace-style'?

Presumably also, this rule doesn't apply if the store is at the top of a hill, as everyone will be going downhill when they leave? Am I thinking about this a little too much? And are there any Morrisons stores perched proudly atop a decent-sized hill? If so, you mightn't have to deposit £1 to get a trolley.

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING

Drifting in the ocean surrounded by uneaten food

IT'S been a little bit like the Marie Celeste in here this week. In the sense that office feels a bit empty, not that we're drifting aimlessly in the Atlantic without a captain and food left out. No, it's that pre-school-summer-holiday fortnight when everyone with children at school goes on holiday, presumably avoid the school kids.

Or more likely to avoid the exorbitant cost premium that is added on to a holiday by booking for a fortnight later. Imagine if other industries operated the same way, a Big Mac Meal £3.59 except between 5pm and 6.3pm when the same meal will cost you £7.99, as it's 'tea time'. No-one would pay it, but the holiday companies have you over a barrel.

I've never really understood that phrase. Why is being over a barrel negative? Depends what's in the barrel and why you're over it I guess? Anyway, we're over this barrel. And school's won't stagger holidays as that would cause chaos (I get annoyed enough at the fact that my children attend school in Wales and my wife works in neighbouring Shropshire and their school holidays aren't the same - despite being just a few miles apart from each other, so I can understand why holidays aren't staggered hugely).

Anyway, in other news, I was woken up yesterday by a small child re-enacting the Good Morning song and dance routine from Singing In The Rain. Tonight she's an elephant in the school summer play. Oh to be seven years old again. Her older sister's a Brazilian Samba dancer, try fitting that together into one production...

I feel like I should now make a stab at writing something at least vaguely work orientated. Err, I was given a Russian doll today. True story, you couldn't make this up!

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING

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