Friday, 14th February 2014
When I was invited to spend the day at Iceland’s Chelmsford store I never expected to find myself bag packing or fending off conspiracy theories, but we ‘Pressgangers’ do like to get under the skin of our clients.
The feature was a simple ‘how do you prepare for Christmas trading?’ whereby I would go along and ask the manager Nikki Monk and her team what trials they face and how they overcome them.
However, Iceland’s Life in the Freezer Cabinet documentary had aired the night before and talk was riff among customers about Malcolm Walker, CEO – and most I might add was positive.
One customer failed to miss the point of the coverage and was lambasting the poor cashier, who only moments before I was quizzing about workloads and favourite products, about the dreaded ‘horse meat’ scandal.
Mistaking me for a head office trouble-shooter, I told him I just write the paper, he pulled me to one side to ask me about Iceland’s North Atlantic Cod pieces. He couldn’t understand why they were produced in China and that they must therefore be Catfish.
I tried my best to assure him that it wouldn’t be Catfish and the products were manufactured in different places to give the customer the best value for money.
“It’s not that I mind if it’s Catfish’ he said ‘I just want to know what I’m eating and I know all about those farms in Vietnam!’. I very politely pointed out Vietnam wasn’t in China, and Iceland wouldn’t do that, but if was truly unhappy he should call the customer care team who I am sure would give him a full refund. He thanked me for my time and before leaving said how rubbish the rival store over the road is.
My day gave me a perfect insight into the life of the team and how hard they work – I must say I was pleased to get back to my desk by the end of it!