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Shopped: The Shocking Power of British…

Shopped: The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets (2004)

by Joanna Blythman

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1744107,126 (3.63)4
In the 1970s, supermarkets in Britain accounted for 10% of the grocery spend. Today that figure is now 80%, influencing our whole way of life. This book looks at the impact of supermarket domination, from farmers who have to sell produce at less than its value to the teenage part-timers who stack the shelves.… (more)
  1. 00
    Not on the Label by Felicity Lawrence (gaidheal01)
    gaidheal01: Both books study globalisation and its affects, and practices of British supermarkets. Not on the Label focuses more on different foods, whereas Shopped goes into greater detail about individual practices of the supermarkets.

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Originally published in around 2004/2005, in some respects developments in British supermarkets haven't quite gone the way anticipated in this book, with the largest supermarket chains busily abandoning their plans for new out-of-town hypermarkets all over the country, but on the other hand the changes in relative growth of different supermarket chains in the UK over the past years don't really imply that less money over all is being spent in supermarkets. I have mixed feelings about supermarkets, but I suppose I'm of the generation who has never really done anything else, and I'm much more comfortable with the idea of a supermarket computer system being familiar with my shopping patterns than the local independent shop staff recognising me and noting the contents of my shopping basket. So all in all, this was a book to make me think but doesn't neatly fit into what I think is a desirable state of affairs. But I suppose it has now given me a push to try to spread out my spending outside of the largest supermarkets, at least a little. ( )
  mari_reads | May 17, 2015 |
It may be because I try to stay up to date with consumer matters, but to me Shopped seems like old news. Yes, it's 4 years old, but the path it's travelled has been travelled well by other works before and since.

I admit it covered areas that were new to me, but they were few and far between. I hadn't realised that producers were expected to fund offers on their products - I thought that supermarkets put on offers when they had too much of a bad thing. I knew the supermarkets put a lot of pressure on their producers, but didn't realise so much of it was financial.

If you're suprised by the news that people dislike supermarkets for numerous reasons, this would be a good introduction. Otherwise, it's a bit past it's read-by date. ( )
  escapepea | Sep 23, 2011 |
'Shopped' takes the reader on a lively, thought-provoking and incredibly interesting journey through the world of the modern British supermarket, revealing every secret trick and behind-the-scenes truths that they really wouldn't want the public to think about. From screwed-over suppliers to exhausted assistants, corner-cutting to own-label quality, obsessive perfection to global domination; it's all here in candid detail. I worked as a shop assistant for one of the 'Big Four' and within a couple of months of employment, I could see the truth in some of the topics covered in Blythman's book.

This book has affected me a lot. After reading this book, why would I want to shop somewhere that has colour charts to determine whether a tomato is good enough to sell? Where checkout girls have to put up their hands to go to the loo like naughty school children? Where staff have no idea what their products are or what to do with them? That shamelessly hire and fire suppliers with no thought as to their livelihoods and the amount of work that goes into large-scale production for supermarkets?

Read this book and be inspired. Vote with your feet and refuse to conform to the supermarket-driven one-stop-shop ideal where everything you need in your life comes from them in a neat once-a-week consumer package. This book is a sharp and well-written call to arms, and should be compulsory reading for everyone from teenagers to grandmothers. ( )
1 vote elliepotten | Sep 26, 2008 |
An interesting look at the practices of the supermarkets in Britain, and you can see the echoes of these practices in Ireland. Looking at how some of their practices aren't giving us better produce but a homogenity that may look better but often doesn't taste better. She echoes my own concerns about people complaining that small shops are dying who do their regular shopping in big stores. ( )
  wyvernfriend | May 19, 2007 |
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Leafing through this book you might get the impression that it is written by a longstanding opponent and critic of supermarkets. (Introduction)
In June 2003, when a new Sainsbury's Local, complete with cash machine, sliding doors and eight gleaming tills, opened opposite them, the owners of Belmont Mini Market in Chalk Farm were worried. (Chapter 1)
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