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Mention the name of the food store Netto to some people and they shudder in disbelief that I shop there! They seem to think that the foodstuffs there are substandard and basically cheap and nasty. I must admit that I used to have this idea – but then I, like most of the people who disliked the store had never shopped there.
I first started using Netto when I had my kitten. They did the best and cheapest cat litter I had found anywhere, I often used to pop in to collect a couple of bags of cat litter then be on my way without really looking at what was on offer.
On the odd occasion I used to pick up other items we had run out of, cat food, tea or coffee and was amazed to find that they were so much cheaper! I am not talking about a few pence, but a price difference of at least 10p on most items. This is when I decided that shopping at Netto for my weekly shopping would save me money and a lot of it at that!
Armed with my shopping list I went into the store. They don’t have baskets at Netto, use have to have a trolley and pay a pound for the privilege, this pound is returned to you, when you return the trolley. The aisles of Netto are very wide, although pallets of ‘extra’ goods often block them, such as summertime they stock some children’s outdoor toys and so forth. However even with the pallets in the way, there is plenty of room for a trolley, a pushchair or a wheelchair to pass comfortably.
The goods are displayed in their boxes, they just cut the front of the box off to display the goods, thus cutting down on staff time spent unpacking boxes thus passing a reduction in prices on to you the consumer. The shelves are 4 high in aisles, no higher than the supermarkets, and at 5’7 I am able to reach easily to the products I desire.
Netto stocks a range of cleaning goods, from brand name bleach and multisurface sprays and cleaners to their cheapest alternatives. I tend to go for brand name cleaners myself so am unable to comment on the worth or value of the cheaper brands stocked here. Netto stock their own brand washing powder called Yetza, I have used this on occasion and found it not only very cheap – but good value as it performed a very good job on the clothes.
You can also find pet food here, whiskers and Felix are the two most commonly stocked brands named cat foods and at 10p – 15p cheaper than most supermarkets are excellent priced. Pedigree chum is the most commonly stocked brand name dog food, again with the same saving as the cat food. The ‘own’ pet foods are very cheap around 15p per can – but quite honestly non-of my animals will eat it, and it makes me feel quite nauseous to put it out – so steer clear of that one!
There is a fair range of fresh fruit and vegetables, although if you go late afternoons you may find the shelves depleted somewhat, with little choice. I have always found the quality of the fruit and veg very good, again it is all displayed in their original boxing. The prices are always cheaper than the supermarkets. The only drawback is with the prepacked vegetables such as mushrooms, I prefer to buy them loose as the prepacks are always too big for my use. Still if that’s the only complaint I have it can’t be too bad!
The refrigerated section holds the usual items you would find in a supermarket, milk – always a bargain, 20p cheaper than supermarkets for the 4 pint bottles. Yoghurts – nettos own are a bargain, similar to the ‘Muller fruit corner’ ones but at only 19p and they are much tastier than the Muller ones! Chilled cooked meats are also on offer now with these you do have to be careful – some of them are sometimes past their sellby dates so do look out for those. I have found the cooked meat and meat goods in this area to be the poorest quality in the shop. Quite often they are visibly ‘off’ and I have quite often drawn staff attention to this. In particular I saw a pack of sausage rolls with a lovely green and brown mottled fur coat……. Very tasty!
The raw meat section is very good value, and I have experienced no problems with meat from Netto at all. They are always good cuts of meat, with little fat, and are of good sizes not to mention good prices too! There are usually fresh chickens, steak, beef, pork and lamb on offer – much cheaper than supermarkets and indeed butchers.
Netto stocks a good range of tinned foodstuffs from beans to rice pudding. You will find brand names here like Heinz or Ambrosia, but I find the cheaper versions just as good value. A tin of their cheap beans will set you back roughly 9p and tin of cheapy rice pudding just 19p. There is also a good range of tinned fruits very cheaply priced. You do have to check the tins though as sometimes they are dented, I find it is always best to avoid dented tins. All supermarkets have the same problem with dented tins, but Netto seem to have a higher number.
As well as foodstuffs you can also buy wines and spirits, often very much cheaper than supermarkets and off licences. They do their own brands of whisky, gin, vodka and brandy – again I have not sampled any of these, but they are very cheaply priced. There is a good range of beers also, from bottles to cans. Last summer they were selling 4 bottles of Labatts Ice beer for £1.99 – needless to say our fridge was well stocked!! There are also soft drinks available very cheaply – from Coca-Cola to the cheap 15p bottle cola. I find their own brand lemonade an absolute must in the summer months, as it is nicer than Schweppes lemonade!
As well as food and drink there are also items for your home such as a small selection of bedding, good quality at low prices for example I bough a double duvet cover and 2 pillowcases to match for £6.99, and a chrome wire fruit and veg trolley for £2.99. Very good value if you are furnishing a home for the first time! As I said before they also stock some children’s toys, depending on the season – at the moment they are stocking outdoor toys, such as slides, seesaws and sandpits. The prices are very much cheaper than ToysRus.
I have always found the shop to be clean and well presented any spills or breakages have been dealt with promptly and with care. There always seems to be an abundance of staff stocking the shelves and cleaning up. This is perhaps something Netto could look at, as their till management system is appalling!
At busy times although there are 8 tills in the shop, there are rarely more than 3 till operators. I feel that at busy times staff could be taken off the shelf stacking duties and put on the tills to reduce waiting time. I have on occasion waited for 40 minutes to be ‘checked out’
Once at the cheque out things do move swiftly. The operators always appear to know the prices of the goods, and appear very efficient. There is no one to help you pack your bags here, and you do have to pay for the carriers, 3p for ‘normal’ ones and 6p for the stronger ones. It is possible to take your own carrier bags with you, or there are boxes at the checkouts for use.
Once you have packed away your shopping you have to pay – sorry guys but there it is! You will be amazed at how much you can buy for so little. Netto take mainly cash, as it is easier and cheaper to deal with, they do take delta and switch, but no other cards. This can be a bit of a nuisance of you have to take cash with you – as it is hard to decide how much you will need. I tend to spend £30 on a weeks shopping, which at Safeway would cost me £60+. I do have to go to Safeway for some items, as I am not happy with the quality at Netto, or they do not stock what I want – for example the more exotic sauces, herbs or pastas. Some people think this is false economy but it is something I am happy with.
It is amazing how many ‘posh’ cars you see in Nettos carpark, Mercedes, BMW, Mfg.’s and so on, in fact I once saw a lady packing her Netto shopping into sainsaburys bags, which tickled me really as I thought that the ultimate in snobbery!
Anyway try Netto, I am sure you will end up buying something and most probably making regular trips for your shopping.
I too like nettos, there prices are good. I got moaned at though by boyfriend and kids, so stopped shopping there. Shame really i liked it.
BustyBabe 10.06.2001 18:07
Thanks, great op , i used to shop there but is to far now from where i live. But i agree its great for value there, and not a bad choice.thanks. vicki
moose 10.06.2001 17:39
An excellent op - v. comprehensive. Funny, one of your last comments about posh cars reminded me of the time I used to work for Aldi. I always used to look out into the car park (to try and rid myself of the horrid thoughts of the job!) and see BMWs, Mercs etc... I reckon rich people are such just because they shop at these discounters! They were always the ones to complain if they were charged 2p or so more than they should have been as well!