To be pedantic, the space earmarked for a supermarket at Empire Square is now largely occupied by Soho Gyms (the remainder being the pitiful Tesco Express) - hence the substantial loading bays originally provided on Tabard Street.
Probably a fairly self-evident point to make, but it's consumers, not supermarkets, who decide how we want to shop and, by extension, what kind of outlets get opened.
Admittedly, the picture's complicated by consumers' decision-making being affected by habit underpinned by heavily-marketed concepts like 'convenience'. But ultimately the choice is ours. And in the big picture the market follows the money.
Aghh, now Tesco in Great Suffolk Street has gone almost completely self service. I think there is only one manned till left now. And the self service tills are much smaller than before, with minimal space to put your stuff and next to impossible to use with your own bag now. Annoying, but probably that suits most people who only want to buy a sandwich or a chocolate bar..
We're old fashioned Nelson, we like a till with a person!
I actually dislike self service as I find it takes longer than a staffed till, particularly for loose items like rolls, as it takes so long to find the item. Sadly, round here it's hard to vote with our feet.
For some reason, the self-service tills at the Tesco metro spend more time saying 'assistance needed' than they spend working properly. So my advice is, if you want to buy more than a handful of items, insist on a member of staff serving you.
I did use the ones before sometimes, as you could have your basket on one side and pack your (own) bag on the other side. But these new ones now are much narrower, you put your basket underneath and there is a tiny area where you then have to put your shopping.. so fiddly if you have more than three items! yes, will be queuing for the tills in the future. But weird that they should respond to the arrival of Sainsbury's with reduced service! I think it is not a very well run Tesco's anyway, the manager is a miserable man!
In the Sainsburys today I tried to use self service and it took forever to scan and finally wanted a member of staff when none were around (they always want a member of staff, I think there is something wrong with the scales).
I put my food back in the basket and went and queued, was out in about 90seconds. Grrrrrr, stupid system! Nice jammy dodgers though.
After a short holiday I returned and found that the Tesco in Borough Road that had excellent real people serving has converted to mostly self service tills. This morning as no less than two members of staff struggled with an "unexpected items in the bagging area" or whatever I asked when someone would serve me. They pointed to another self-service till at which point I dropped the basket (oh whoops about that bottle) and sugested that if they wanted to offer me a discount for serving myself then I might be interested, but for the moment I'll go somewhere else.
a comedian had a routine about this (can't remember who it was any more), saying something along the lines he never really wanted to do any voluntary work for any of the supermarkets so maybe they should be paying the customers :)
come to think of it, if we applied the same thinking across the board, things could be so much more interesting?