In these strange times we can all feel nervous and ill at ease. So I can understand why people might suspect that at Parkfoot we are in some way “profiteering” from the coronavirus situation. I have heard this suggested recently, and I feel so passionately about this that I have to write to set the record straight.
Firstly, to be clear, we have not raised any of our prices to take advantage of any shortage of supply. In some cases, however, such as meat, the prices we pay have fluctuated quite a lot, so our own prices have changed to reflect that.
A few products have been heavily in demand and in short supply. For example, we managed to source some hand sanitiser at a time when it was almost impossible to get hold of. The price we paid was very high, and this was reflected in the price we charged to our customers. But we figured that people would prefer to have the choice of buying it at a high price, rather than not at all.
Meanwhile we have taken on extra staff to help us manage the queues and to run our new Order and Collect service, which allows customers to obtain their grocery needs without entering the shop. There is no charge for this, and we will also deliver for free to those most in need. We have also set aside times for elderly and vulnerable people to shop and similarly times for NHS and other Key Workers to visit the store and we keep back some essential items for them.
Overall, our main aim throughout this has been to keep our staff and customers safe and to maintain the kind of service that Parkfoot, as a local family firm, has been known for since 1949. Beyond that, we pride ourselves on maintaining good stock levels, and whilst we have faced challenges with some products, overall we have had plenty of essentials on our shelves and in our chillers and freezers.
I have worked in our retail business for over 38 years and this has been the most difficult time we’ve ever experienced. We are all very anxious about the exposure that comes from keeping our business going. Despite this my amazing staff have stepped up to provide an incredible level of service to all customers, both our regulars and those who are new to our store. Hopefully they will continue to serve you all with a smile, whilst maintaining social distancing. Generally our queues have been short and people have been able to shop swiftly, efficiently and safely.
Our regular customers are the lifeblood of our business. We are trying our best during this awful time to keep both key workers and the community going. I am, as always, ready to discuss the actions that we take with anyone. I’m pleased to say that we are almost back to business as usual with all but a few products back in stock. With a maximum of 12 people in the store at one time you may face a short queue to enter, but there will always be a warm welcome at Parkfoot.