THIS idea that people ok for dosh now go to Waitrose on one side of Camden High Street, and the rest of us shop at Lidl on the other side of the road, was smashed out of the water by the Daily Mail on Saturday when they despatched professionally posh writer Petronella Wyatt to buy her crayfish tails at the cheap food store. This was all on the grounds that a mass of people lazily described as the ‘middles classes’ now find shopping in Aldi and Lidl more acceptable than ever before. What we learned is that, perhaps bored by questions about why they don’t offer free coffee for browsing shoppers like they do in Waitrose, Lidl staff, if poked properly, will offer to nip around the corner and get one from Starbuck’s for you.
Well, this offer to ‘fetch’ was at least made to Petsy.
After scoring Lidl an impressive 8/10 and claiming she would shop there regularly if they smartened up the store and ‘provided customers with coffee’, she headed to the Aldi on our patch in Kilburn High Road.
And that’s when things took a turn for the worse. Once you’ve read her account of the customers, you’ve more or less digested the whole piece: “The shoppers looked harassed, exuding a downtrodden, despair- ing air. The majority are obese, dressed in baggy outfits and unkempt. Eventually, I approach a male shopper in his 50s who is at least clean-shaven and ask if he considers himself middle-class? He bares his teeth. ‘B***** off. I’ve got a dicky heart.’ ‘I’m sorry,’ I begin to say until I observe him filling his trolley with cream buns. Most of the shop assistants speak poor English and are flummoxed by words of more than one syllable. The burly security guards seemed to regard every customer as a potential criminal, including me.”
You get the idea with that, and may even feel more than a little bit sorry for cream bun man being ‘observed’. Sad times, the store netted only three points on Petronella’s middle-class-o-meter.