The reduced rack at the Tesco store in Whitefriars

PUB SPY: My Tesco reduced rack shame

Do you remember the former Netto supermarket in Canterbury? It opened in the early 2000s in the old Martin Walter dealership opposite what was Safeways in St George’s Place.

The first time I went in was with my mate Chris. We were both hungover having got slaughtered in Herne Bay the night before.

It was hilarious. The Netto floor was dirty and sticky. The whole place was guarded by a single weedy security official in a cheap uniform who had microphone haircut. Think Art Garfunkel circa 1968.

But the real hilarity was to be found in the frozen food section. Peering inside one of the storage fridges, we saw chicken legs out of their wrapping lying at the bottom.

Someone had stuffed biscuits into it in an act of skilful “shop-lefting”. Meanwhile, several of the pizza boxes looked like they been ripped apart by wild animals. I had to quickly remind myself that human beings were responsible.

Tesco Metro in Whitefriars

It was human beings, too, that I witnessed swarming frantically around the reduced rack at the gigantic Tesco in Whitstable one day.

I recall seeing flailing arms reaching, picking, discarding. I’m sure someone growled.

It was too much to bear so I had to look what they were frothing about. Nothing, in particular. Just cut price sh*t.

Something about the sight of little yellow stickers denoting a money off appeared capable of working everyone up.

And then I saw them, a box of two of those iced fingers with the real cream middle. Buy ’em today, eat ’em today – so what that they’re 24 hours off playing mayhem with my intestinal system.

I barged my way to the front, growled and forced my arm across some woman to grab the packet…only to discover a second later that I was saving myself all of about 22p.

I felt shame, in part, at my animalistic behaviour. But more so because I been seduced by this consumer trick which can make a beaten up tin of store’s own baked beans seem appealing – just because it has a yellow sticker on it.

All that said, I’m now a regular visitor to the reduced rack at the Whitefriars Tesco Metro. I rarely ever buy anything, I just look at what they’re offering.

But none of this can top what my mum did once. I was round her house once when I noticed she’d bought some chocolate from Lidl in Sturry Road. The packet had a little yellow sticker on it.

It read: “0% off.”

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