Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

East end set to get second Aldi store – this time in Forge Retail Park

News this week of a second Aldi store to join the one that finally opened in the area a few months ago.

While it’s been nice to have the Shettleston store, I have to say its very ‘domestic’, by which I mean it has plenty of food, but (to me at least) appears to favour stuff for babies and families when it comes to the non-food items, and I find I still end up travelling into Glasgow (city), Rutherglen, or Cambuslang, if I want to get my hands on any of the more technical items they have on offer.

The stuff does appear, eventually, by which time I’ve usually got anything I want from those other stores.

I may be wrong, or imagining this, but it will be interesting to see if the Forge store is similar, or not.

Be easier to get to.

The article suggest Aldi are to take ove TWO units for their new outlet.

I wonder if this means they’ll be taking over the former Maplin and Poundworld units?

NEW Glasgow East End Aldi Supermarket Can Go Ahead

Maplin and Poundworld side by side

Maplin and Poundworld side by side

Might explain why I saw one of them open a while ago.

Being surveyed?

Forge Retail Maplin Open Door

Forge Retail Maplin Open Door

That said…

I should probably also note that there’s a larger unit to the left of Maplin.

It’s been sitting empty for even longer – so long, there’s been time to remove all the signage which identified the previous tenant.

I have no idea who that was, other than a recollection that it wasn’t the sort of place I’d even look in the window of, let alone walk through the door.

Ah! According to records, it was a Next Clearance outlet.

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30/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Oh look – did Aldi make more of the beneficial dark chocolate ‘leak’ than Lidl?

I recently noted: Was dark chocolate brain benefits report leaked to Lidl?

This was after noting the sneaky way they gradually raised the price of their dark chocolate digestive biscuits just before this news was released, and even reduced the price of the less desirable milk chocolate variety (to maintain sales?).

I didn’t have a handy Aldi to visit frequently, so I couldn’t be watching the prices in the same way back then – we only got a local one recently.

I just noticed that while Lidl’s dark chocolate eventually crept up to 49 p per packet (milk chocolate being a mere 42 p)…

Aldi had been bolder, and their dark chocolate digestives are currently up at a whopping 51 p per packet.

Aldi chocolate digestive prices

Aldi chocolate digestive prices

I wonder if that is because someone knows that food faddists and health nuts are mugs who will happily cough up the cash for anything they are told is ‘better’ than something else (with or without evidence)?

 

19/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

For Maplin, read Aldi?

Aldi, just like buses, when you really want one there are none, then they all arrive at once!

For years, I’ve had to go into Glasgow, Rutherglen, or Cambuslang to get to an Aldi (from Shettleston).

This year, we finally got an Aldi in Shettleston, so no more long trips for their offers.

Now?

Only a few months later, and it seems they’re trying to get permission to open another east end Aldi, this time in the Forge Retail Park.

If the pics with the story are anything to go by, it looks as if they’re looking to take over the former Maplin unit.

DISCOUNT food retailer Aldi is being lined up for a store at a retail park in Glasgow’s East End.

Under the plan, two units at Forge Retail Park, Gallowgate, would be converted into a supermarket, creating around 50 jobs.

Glasgow City planners are being asked to relax restrictions on the amount of food shop floorspace allowed at the site so the proposal can go ahead.

A statement from consultants Zander Planning, submitted to the city council on behalf of The Forge Retail Park Unit Trust, explains: “The retail park has been the subject of a number of vacancies and the key demand from occupiers is for food/convenience retailing. Little or no interest has been shown from non-food retailers.

“The proposal seeks to deliver additional convenience/food retail floorspace to allow the occupation of Units 2 and 3a by a discount food retailer, Aldi.”

EAST End Store Plan For Supermarket Chain Aldi

I hope that reference to “convenience/food retail floorspace” is not literal.

Shettleston’s Aldi has proven to be rather disappointing in its range of stock, trending heavily towards food and missing many of the non-food goodies I’m used to seeing in the other branches I mentioned.

The retail park is a lot closer than the others, so if a new store there did stock more of the non-food goodies, I wouldn’t mind the extra distance compared to the Shettleston branch which is almost literally on my doorstep.

Even though Maplin had started selling some right rubbish, and the place was almost deserted whenever I dropped in, I didn’t want to lose one of the originals, and with no other similar business to take up the slack, do miss the place.

Maplin Closing

Maplin might make way for Aldi

11/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

After last year’s Bottom Sniffer Beer for dogs – it’s Pawsecco Wine for Cats

While scoping out the stock (or lack of it) in our new Aldi, I came across the partner to last year’s offering for dogs (Bottom Sniffer Beer), it’s Pawsecco Wine for Cats (and Dogs apparently).

So, the Sales and Marketing Department’s opinion of the nation’s favourite pets is… Dogs go around sniffing backsides, while judgemental Cats sip wine and watch them.

Cat Judge

Cat Judge

Pawsecco is described as a specialised blend of Elderflower, Nettle, Ginseng, Lime flower and carrot, created with the advice of veterinary experts.

The treat is said to be non-alcoholic, non-carbonated and grape-free, since grapes can be dangerous for pets.

Suitable for all dogs and cats over the age of 4 months.

Instruction say to ‘Pour over food’.

You probably won’t want to share this along with your pet – unlike your tipple, this one is laced with chicken!

Comes as ‘Pet-House White’ and ‘Pet-House Rose’.

Aldi Pawsecco Cat Wine

Aldi Pawsecco Cat Wine

Although I spotted this in Aldi, after looking online, I see you can pick it up in other shops.

In detail, in case you want to be sure it’s OK.

Pet-House White Composition – An infusion of Elderflower, Linden Blossom, Ginseng, Water, Caramel (Natural), Citric Acid. Preservative: Potassium Sorbate.

Pet-House Rose Composition – An infusion of Elderflower, Linden Blossom, Ginseng, Carrot, Water, Caramel (Natural), Citric Acid. Preservative: Potassium Sorbate

Massive pic fail

I did take a pic of this stuff in our new Aldi – and failed miserably.

I don’t really know what went wrong here, autofocus should preferentially lock onto the nearest item, with a bias towards the centre of the frame.

I have absolutely no idea why this shot is perfectly focussed on the bottle in the background!

Pawsecco In Aldi

Pawsecco In Aldi

My best guess is that in my haste, and having the camera on its side (while those taking pics with their phones seem free to snap away all day, those of us with ‘real’ cameras seem to be frowned upon if we try the same thing in shops, or anywhere), I half-pressed the shutter button and triggered the exposure/focus action before I framed the shot.

02/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

New Shettleston Aldi opened without me

Hard to believe, I know, but they went ahead with the opening of the new Aldi in Shettleston on Thursday, even though I made it known that I wouldn’t be going out that day, thanks to storm Diana dumping her load on us then, and giving us a couple of days of steady rain.

Oh well.

Things had dried up by Saturday though (I know it’s traditionally fun to mock weather forecasts, but I seriously suggest you mock anyone who does – they really are accurate IF you don’t misinterpret them), so I was out for the day as it was set to be dry (OK, with the odd spot of rain drops).

I was out in the daylight (strange stuff) and stopped as I passed the new Aldi, curious to see if anyone was there.

Not only were there people there, the car park was full to overflowing!

I guess they’ve learned they should have opened here sooner.

I never visit these stores (Aldi and Lidl) during the day, as they are far too busy now.

Late night shopping is the trick with them, and you can have the place almost to yourself.

I dropped in later the same night, and the first thing I noticed was the massive width of the aisles – I can’t see them leaving the place like this. Maybe they do this until they see how sales are going, then add more if the store shows it is busy. They could easily add more shelves and STILL have wide aisles here.

This was actually noticeable in the range of stock, which to my eyes was LESS than in the other three Aldis that can be found within a few miles of this new one.

I had to hunt for some of my usual goodies I wanted to stock up on, and even found a few were missing from the shelves.

As I left, a container lorry loaded with more goodies arrived, and I got treated to a nice display of trailer reversing into the delivery bay – straight in first time. Some drivers are really good.

OH! One other small point.

Aldi provide decent (very) solid bike racks – a trick Lidl hasn’t learnt, even at its newest stores, or recently upgraded older ones either.

By way of comparison, Tesco provides racks, but Morrisons doesn’t.

I find the omission strange these days.

Shettleston Aldi Opened

Shettleston Aldi Opened

02/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Oops, Sorry Aldi Shettleston, storm Diana beat your opening

No luck.

Since I’d followed it so far, I thought I should at least mention this.

But with storm Diana arriving about the same time, and me not being close enough to mean the wind and rain I’d meet on my there and back to be insignificant, I’m afraid the opening of the new Aldi in Shettleston was onto ‘plums’ yesterday.

This quick look at our local rainfall from 00:01 on Thursday until now (13:00 Friday) gives you an idea – unfortunately, rainfall sensors just don’t show the little showers that go on all the time, they just accumulate, then trigger a larger reading.

Diana Rain

Diana Rain

Even the offer of a bag of vegetables (I think the first thirty customers through the door got that as a free gift) wasn’t enough to tempt me.

Today’s no better, as the wind and rain is still coming in waves – no doubt intended by Diana to tempt the naive out of the door during the quiet spells – to catch the unwary if they dare step outside if the Sun shines, which it actually does at times.

But most of the time, the rain is bouncing off my windows, and I’m pulling the duvet over my head.

So, no update to this last pic.

Aldi Fitting

Aldi

Oh – looking at the weather forecast, tomorrow (Saturday) looks like light cloud and a gentle breeze, with rain at 20% or less probability.

That’s better than Sunday (75% chance of rain, even if it is a bit warmer), so I might have to try to remember to take that first wander tomorrow, and not make the mistake of waiting for better weather.

30/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Shettleston Aldi to open on November 29

They DID tell us!

Shettleston’s Aldi is set to open on Thursday, 29 November.

And the date was on the news site I thought might be the one to have it.

Opening date announced for new Aldi store in Shettleston

The new 1,140 sq metre Shettleston shop will stock more than 400 Scottish products from 80 supplies across the country.

All joking aside, it is interesting to actually read the labels on what they sell (and to be fair, this applies equally to the other supermarkets too). Mouthy activists and media looking for ‘clickbait’ like to slag off supermarkets for not supporting local produce, but in the real world, away from biased individuals and reporting, things are actually pretty good.

Oh, this old pic will do 🙂

Aldi Fitting

Aldi Fitting

23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

New Aldi almost made me panic tonight

I’ve been trying to find out when our big new Shettleston Aldi actually opens its doors.

A local media source seems to like mentioning such things, but Shettleston may be too down-market and not on its radar, as nothing mentioned so far.

I’ve tried watching Aldi’s own web page for this shop. Currently it does not show up if you ask it to find the store in their search tool, but you can find this page by other means.

Aldi Shettleston

So far, it has store details, and refers to the opening in November, but does not give a date (yet?).

I haven’t been here for ages, but had to pass it tonight, and from a distance thought they had sneaked the Grand Opening past me!

The place was fully lit, shining brightly, the perimeter security fencing was all gone, the car park was laid, and the shop signs were lit.

There seemed to people moving around too – but when I got closer I was relieved to see they were just shopfitters, still working on the interior. I also noticed all the entrances were coned off.

Just as well, since I’d given up and had been in the High Street shop a few hours earlier – to buy ‘essential supplies’ since I couldn’t wait for this place any longer.

Still… there are no signs around to suggest when it will open for business.

Could be the end of the month, as the interior is not done, the terminals and systems have to go in and be commissioned, and of course, the place has to be stocked, the shelves filled for the first time, and an inventory established.

While an experienced team could have this done in days, it’s still a fair bit of work, especially if there are the inevitable snags, so this is more than ‘a few days’.

Incidentally, if you noticed I’ve referred to how close this Aldi store is to Tesco (a Tesco ‘extra’ store, open 24 hours) in the past, and wondered how close ‘close’ was, just have a look at the right hand side of this pic, and you’ll know.

Click these for a bit bigger.

Aldi Fitting

Aldi Fitting

I wasn’t sure if the ‘Tesco extra’ would be big enough to see in the first grab, then I couldn’t decide which pic I like – so you get both.

The first one (above) has been properly processed – the one below had just had some highlights and shadows improved.

Aldi Fitters Escaping

Aldi Fitters Escaping

Update

November 20 – web page says:

Opening date


The grand opening of this new ALDI supermarket will take place in November 2018. For potential changes to the opening date, continue checking back here.

17/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | 1 Comment

Aw c’mon Aldi – it’s November already!

You may remember an earlier post, where I FINALLY got know what was being built on the site once occupied by Shettleston’s Halfords.

Well, it’s November, the promised opening month, and the place isn’t open!

OK, I’m being naughty, and this pic was only taken on the night of 02 November, so they have another 28 days (oh-oh, THAT’s ominous) to go and still meet their promise.

I’m just grumpy since I just finished the last jar of their Peasant’s Special strawberry jam, and wanted to replenish the stock. While we hear complaints of ‘price fixing’ for expensive branded muck (which is a huge rip-off charging mugs a fortune for a brand name), so far, nobody seems to have noticed, or complained, about all the supermarkets selling jars of strawberry jam for 28 p.

I once bought jars from all of them, initially to see if it was the same red concoction in all of them, and it just got a different label stuck on the jar as it left the line.

It’s not – they’re all quite different (one was so poor, it could almost be poured out of the jar), and Aldi’s seems to be the best of the bunch, or maybe it would be more accurate to say that the other brands are not worth paying about 4 times the price for a ‘name’ on the jar, and some are 7 times that price. And no matter how nice they may be, that just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

So, I’ll either have to make the long hike to one of the existing branches (we simply don’t have one in the end of the east end), or keep things ticking along with the best of the rest.

Hopefully, this place will open soon.

It’s not that far off. I’ve been watching its progress, and it just keeps moving steadily towards completion. I’m sure they could have completed this sooner, but they seem to have chosen a project schedule, and rather than hurry along with the potential to fail to complete on time, they really have just plodded along, seeming to complete each phase, then move onto the next. It’s actually  nice to see work being carried out like this, instead of the more usual slide from one crisis and missed milestone to another, and eventual late completion.

I’m also mildly intrigued be the close proximity to nearby Tesco, which you would be able to see if this new building was not in the way.

The local Co-op (aka Kingco) is almost the same distance away, along the road to the left – but it is a joke, having significantly downsized the area of its shop recently, I don’t know if it will survive the addition of Aldi to the exiting Tesco.

I don’t really know how even the smaller premises has survived Tesco’s arrival – the Co-op’s prices are joke, or more accurately a nightmare, being not a little higher than all the others in many cases, but significantly higher, as in 20% or more for the same products.

They should use the money to buy wheelchairs, I need one to get back out, every time I walk in and see their prices!

November Aldi

November Aldi

As close as I can get to the door.

Aldi Works

Aldi Works

I’m never sure just how far to push some night pics, as I don’t like it when they begin to look artificial, and I never want to get to the stage of some, who seem to apply filters to EVERY pic they take, and they all look horrible.

Plain, as taken pic of the above.

Dark Aldi

Dark Aldi

But if I didn’t care about how natural it looks, I could make it into Pushed Aldi.

Pushed Aldi

Pushed Aldi

I do use this technique sometime, but only when some detail lost in the darkness is more important than the quality of the image itself.

03/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The new build is an Aldi, not more flats

Remember I mentioned a new build in Shettleston, but which was a secret as there were no contractor’s boards, or any other signs around the site to give away what was coming?

See here: What are we getting on the old Halfords site

It’s more than a month since I was able to take a look, but last night was worth effort.

We’re getting an Adi – at long last.

While Lidl’s not too bad (nearest is in Tollcross, but there’s Baillieston too), Aldi means a trip to Cambuslang, Rutherglen, or the city centre (High Street), all of which are about 5 miles away.

They’re not fast at building these places – as can be seen, the place won’t up and running until November, and that’s four months away.

Having three of each to choose from I’ve found an interesting difference…

The three Lidls are always as near identical in stock as makes no difference.

However, the three Aldis are always worth dropping into just to see what they have that differs between them. Their clearances and reductions also seem to be independent, as I’ve picked up bargains in one, while the others don’t have the same items marked down.

I wonder if this will be the death-blow for the local Co-op?

Prices in the Co-op are ridiculously high, consistently ranging up to 20% more than Tesco and Asda (and obviously well above Lidl and Aldi), and the Shettleston store sold off half of its floor space not long after Tesco open a few streets away.

I walk in, walk round, then walk out after checking their prices. They tried to get me back in with their Dividend Scheme, but while that gives back 5% of your spend, it only applies to Co-op branded items.

Believe it or not (but it is true), even their ‘Reduced for quick sale’ item prices are still higher than Tesco.

Here’s the reveal for the new Aldi.

Shettleston Aldi

Shettleston Aldi

And the clue to the November opening date.

Aldi November

Aldi November

I just hope this ground/site is not jinxed.

Going by memory (pretty risky where my memory is concerned), so far, every shop that has opened here has closed within a few years, or been revamped after a while, to carry on for a few more years, then closed.

If I’d thought, I could have had a collection of photos to show the changes over the years, but it never occurred to me that the change would be so constant here.

12/07/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

The incredible shrinking Aldi peanut butter (jar)

Thanks to some development work I did in the past, I had the kit that let me scan barcodes directly into my home accounts. Unfortunately, the main part decided to die one day, leaving me to key the codes in by hand.

While this should have been a diminishing task over the years (as my collection of barcodes grew), since I do it manually, I’ve realised one or two supermarkets keep replacing their branding, and give the new brand image (but the same product other than the label) a new barcode. This is clearly a nuisance since I now have to key in the code.

Aldi doesn’t change barcodes. In fact, I think I found them reusing one, for items with little difference between them. So, I was surprised to see a humble jar of peanut butter couldn’t be located in my database, even though I’ve bought it before.

I thought I’d misread or miskeyed, but it really was a new barcode for what LOOKED like the same thing.

However, when I checked an earlier jar, found the result seen below.

Aldi Peanut Butter Jars

Aldi Peanut Butter Jars

I was puzzled at first, since the media loves to ‘catch’ manufacturers who change (OK, reduce) quantities but don’t change (OK, reduce)  prices.

They wet themselves with joy at finding a story they can write which presents the relevant company as cheating its customers, and that they ‘revealed’ a secret price rise.

Good luck with that media. Keep telling yourself you’re clever, while the clever folk laugh and think you’re stupid.

In this case, all that’s been done is the replacement of a space-wasting jar by one which carries less air, which is good for the product (I think peanut butter spoils faster when exposed to air, and good for transport costs, since the same weight of product will take up less space.

But wait… there’s more.

The old jar reported 395 kJ per 15 ml tablespoonful.

The new jar? It’s rated at 408 kJ per 15 ml tablespoonful.

Why?

Well, it’s still 94% peanuts, but now they seem to be ‘roasted’ peanuts, and brown sugar has been specified. Oh, and the salt has become ‘sea salt’.

Peanut Butter Labels

Peanut Butter Labels

15/05/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

   

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