The Deterioration of Bell Green Sainsbury’s



Not being a car owner i find Bell Green Sainsbury’s pretty much unusable before i even go inside.

If i need a big shop I go to Sainsbury’s on Dog Kennel Hill, which is more convenient as i kive on the 185 and 176 bus routes.

Dog Kennel Hill Sainsbury’s is well stocked and pretty well run.


I use that Sainsbury’s too. Smaller than Bell Green, but a decent range of stock and well run.


It’s always been terrible in the 15 years I’ve lived near there. The shelves are bare or the aisles are littered with gigantic trolleys of stock just sitting there unshelved. The staff on the customer service desk will just ignore you for as long as possible and then when finally dealing with your issue don’t even make eye contact. The deli/fish/hot/pizza counters are usually closed in the evening. Self service checkouts are 50% out of service and then they let people wheel trolleys through there. I live 100 yards as the crow flies from this awful supermarket but still prefer driving over to Elmers End Tesco so there’s a chance they’ll have the stuff that I need to buy.


GillB I’m with you! Was just about to post the same. New Cross Sainsburys is great - husband and I often walk the hour from our house for exercise on a weekend day, do a big shop and come back on the bus (or taxi if feeling super lazy/have too much stuff). Much nicer experience than either FH or Bell Green and much better choice of ingredients, including things like daikon/mooli and huge bunches of fresh coriander much cheaper than FH.


I went to the Elmers End Tesco the other day - much better for those with vehicles.


Went to the olive bar yesterday. No small pots. Asked the staff member if they had any small pots. No. Just large pots. Same story today. So I haven’t bought any olives. No idea how they run out, as every pot is scanned before leaving the store. You’d think this would be linked to some sort of computer that orders more stock before it runs out. Perhaps this is rocket science stuff though.


The pots are store ordered, olives by an ordering system. The pots have multiple uses hence being store ordered. This doesn’t excuse running out but it does happen. If you have the time, mention it to a member of staff and I’m sure they will offer you an alternative or goodwill gesture.


Cheers. I did mention it to the member of staff, with the result that I was told there were only large pots. I left wondering whether they have a large box in the back that nobody could be bothered to open, as this was the case when I asked them on twitter why they didn’t stock Oregano. They had it, but hadnt bothered to put it on sale or even have an empty space for it.

Not really sure they want the money lol…



Useless. Citing one-off incidents to explain ongoing problems is bullshit. The stock problems predate the recent store reorganisation by a long time. Nowhere in the letter do they address the general lack of cleanliness.


Agreed. Nor do they say anything about the leaks in the roof and general deterioration / apparent neglect of the building itself. I’ve never seen anyone there on the shop floor who looks like a manager. The most senior team members always seem to be the checkout supervisors.


News Shopper have written it up again too:

It’s more lazy journalism, but at least sightly raises the profile.


Noticed an employee giving about 6/7 other people an induction of some kind today around the shop floor; hopefully this is a small sign that things are slowly moving in the right direction.


The management speak response was not particularly convincing.

Vermin control was treated in the passing almost.

Here is a demonstration of ratters - the type of exercise that is effective and perhaps needs to be conducted a few times a year in the environs of the entire retail park.

I have left the link in parenthesis as its an 18+ watch for those sensitive to the sight of rats and their culling and therefore you can elect as to whether you want to view it or not. The language is not too strong.


The area around the clothing etc recycling bin has always, always been full for as long as I remember. They could be emptied a lot quicker than they are! The recycling bins at Forest Hill had to be taken away because of fly tipping. But there is no excuse for the toilets. As I said before the facilities in New Cross are exemplary. It’s strange that the toilets in Forest Hill are more not up to scratch, than are! I think they have struggled (don’t know if they still do, with drug addicts going in there. I have complained to Sainsbury’s head office before (can’t remember why) & as above you get a standard answer. I suppose you could say that is all they can do, but actions do speak louder than words…


I’ve never seen rats in the actual store itself, just in the shrubbery surrounding the carpark. Pretty sure that even Bell Green Sainsbury’s would shut the store if the alarm was raised by customers.


The author of the response letter refers to traps being present under aisle shelf units. An explicit recognition on Sainsbury’s part that there is an in-store problem.

Realistically it is impossible to prevent a rat infestation in the environs from being present within the store itself.

I see no proposal to close the store even with this in-house acknowledgement that there are rats present. Some comedic member of staff or customer had placed a wind-up toy rat in the vegetable area last Friday.

Even more comically those of us who have been around a little longer will remember that that the store suffered from a long term infestation of wild birds that pooped everywhere, including on uncovered fresh food.

It took an extended period of time before this problem was resolved (I suspect by extreme measures including shooting the birds) and once more with no hint that the management considered store closure. It was a considerable time before we resumed buying fresh food under those circumstances.


That’s not quite right is it? The letter does not give any information about rats in THIS store, merely talking about pest boxes in some of their stores. They might even place boxes without evidence of pests being a problem at that time.

If rats have been seen in the store I hope someone has reported it to Lewisham Environmental Health.



Quite happy to accept that interpretation and would not dispute that point too strongly.

But interestingly the author also committed to referring the issue of pest boxes being visible to the manager of this store - but fair’s fair.

But the presence of rats in the stores surrounds increase the probability of there being some rats in the store.

Apart from the wind-up toy from last Friday I am happy to confirm I have not seen a rat inside the store.


That is a scary story to be spreading. If there is a possibility of rats then I’m going nowhere near :grimacing:but surely if they are suspected it’s got to be a concern that health & safety are aware of?