The Deterioration of Bell Green Sainsbury’s

Does anyone else find that this much-used supermarket is poorly managed and chronically under staffed? I pop in there almost every evening after work and the place is a mess/joke. There’s often long queues at the self-service because they turn-off half of the units because there’s only one person working/helping customers. The men’s toilets stink and are often damaged and their cantilever roof oversailing the cashpoints leaks in several places whenever there’s heavy rainfall. I’d be happier if Tesco aquired the site. I can’t be the only one who’s noticed this.

My daughter has a friend who works there & she has said they have cut all night staff, which I’ve got to say is very visible as the shelves are never filled in the mornings.
The forest hill Sainsbury’s is better than it used to be because of a new manager, who I have spoken to & he said he is getting more staff in during the day to stack the shelves. The manager they used to have was extremely rude. So maybe that’s what the savacentre needs,…a new manager :wink:


Is this thread about the Bell Green Sainsbury’s?

yes, it was rebranded as a Sainsbury’s in 2005.


Yes then. This store is the worst.

A while back I complained that at busy times the queues for the self-service were long, but only half the tills were opened. I complained via the website and it was all handled well until the response was basically that they had checked with the store manager and all the self-serve tills are in service at busy times - which was exactly not my experience. I complained a bit more, but basically was told the store manager says there isn’t a problem so I must be wrong.

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It certainly feels unloved to me these days - the roof at the front has been leaking for a couple of years now.

I had hoped that with the internal rejig, putting in the sushi counter and Argos, that the rest of the store (and the car park) would have a bit of a refresh, but it just feels like a cash cow being milked these days.

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They, the hapless staff manning the self-service, always claim that the consoles are broken; but I get the impression that they’re switched-off to manage the flow of customers needing assistance/authorisation when buying alcohol because they haven’t got the staff to manage it.

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I believe the rule is that there needs to be 1 staff member for each 8 self-serve till in operation. So if they don’t have enough staff they can’t/shouldn’t turn all the tills on.

Aptly, The Google suggested this article to me today:

It’s a bit mean, but funny in places. Certainly it doesn’t make me think the author is a very nice person, or that the staff he describes have a very good ethos.

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I usually visit on weekends and I remember reading this thread a few weeks ago thinking “it can’t be that bad” - but I was in there last night around 7pm and everything on this thread is so true. Terrible experience on a weekday evening. I don’t understand why all of a sudden half the self service machines are out of service in the week (but fine at weekends) and they can’t open more checkouts / restock the shelves during the day (solve the problem rather than taking it).

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It’s when it’s so busy and you hear them desperately announce on the tannoy “all checkout trained staff to the tills please” that you know it’s gone wrong and you are in for a wait.

I guess they are short staffed. Perhaps they should raise the wages a bit?

I’m still surprised that head office can’t see stats like till utilisation and throughput and figure there’s a problem (i.e. not all tills open and 100% utilisation of the ones that are open) and send in some better management to trouble shoot the situation.

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I’d not been in for ages and went in Sat morning to acquire some bbq beverages. I was not sure what to expect after this thread, but for me it had improved from my last visit. All tills and selfsevice counters appeared open, it was reasonably quick to use self-service and get the drinks approved. I did not realise they had an in-house sushi area now also so sampled some of that which was nice. I realise it’s not some of the times mentioned above but my experience was a good one, during what must be one of those busiest times.

I’ve often found supermarkets struggle during that in-between period and you can often get a worse service when it’s just under peak time.I hope the store improves for those that have not had a great time in there, or speak with your feet as they say.

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I agree with all these points. Sainsbury’s should certainly care more - I understand that Bell Green is its most profitable store in London…

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Agree it’s been going downhill in the last few years. Recently I was shocked by the empty shelves and deterioration (aside from the new Argos and overpriced sushi areas).

When I first read this thread I disagreed, but hadn’t been there for a few months. On my last 2 visits the queues have been long enough to put me off the store (not at busy times, just very few checkouts open). Tonight they had one till open, all self checkouts closed and at least 9 people in the queue (I couldn’t see where it ended).

Hope it improves soon. I tweeted sainsburys this thread.

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I’ve noticed longer queues than usual in the past week. This afternoon at about 2pm the queues were a minimum of three people per till. BUT almost every till was open. I wonder if the new concessions are driving in more customers than expected.

The problem appears to be too much demand as there are long queues even with every checkout open. The closure of the main supermarket in the centre of Sydenham probably helped this success. Perhaps the only answer is to knock down the gas works and build a few additional supermarkets and massive car parks.


The problem is still bad management. They could easily add more checkouts if over demand is the problem - they add some tills at Christmas already for example.

It’s an interesting thought though, that if Sainsbury’s can’t meet the local demand, competition should move in. I would have hoped that would be a strong motivating factor for Sainsbury’s to pull it’s socks up.

By the way if you are crazy enough to visit early on Sunday just after it opens, you will see huuuge queues and empty checkouts. One Sunday they actually had all the self-serve tills open too, but only one poor staff member helping there. She was rushed off her feet and it quickly went into meltdown.


They do? Where? I’ve never noticed. Like physically wheel in more tills?

Yep - they put 6 little tills with people on the end of where the big self serve area is. It worked quite well if you just had a basket of stuff you wanted to quickly purchase - especially if there is booze or eggnog that needs approving!