In an age when the nation’s biggest supermarket has long told us every little helps, consumers really do have the upper hand.
Never before has the shopper had so much choice.
Perhaps the most sought after customer is the upwardly mobile young parents, the ones whose idea of a family outing is a trip down the fresh produce aisles.
Speaking from recent experience, shopping with a very young child is relatively straightforward – it is when the ‘I wanting’ starts that such expeditions become a living hell. But those in the boardrooms of the big chains know their target market and have gone all out to win the shilling of these families.
As part of this crusade we have seen the advent of parking bays specifically designated for families with young children which is not a legal requirement but more of a sweetener.
As someone who has just become ‘eligible’ to use such spaces again following the birth of our (very) bouncing baby boy, I find myself in a bit of a quandary over this one. Why should we get a bigger parking space than a childless person or someone who prefers to shop alone?
Granted the extra space is welcome – nobody enjoys the stress of checking to see how much damage has been done to a neighbouring vehicle by a door being violently flung open – but it isn’t essential.
If everyone has correctly parked within the white lines then there is ample space to open up the people carrier, empty it of its human cargo as well as unload the equipment needed to mount an assault on the frozen food aisles.
I have avoided parking in these spaces since our eldest was old enough to walk but have used them twice since our new arrival and I did so rather sheepishly. There are many out there who disagree with me, with some arguing that parking in these spaces without a child is as bad as an able bodied driver taking a disabled space.
This of course is nonsense but some shoppers will regard themselves as more important than others as long as the supermarket bosses do.