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Friday, August 01, 2014

Tesco Delivers

After all the years Nb Valerie has been afloat it has taken until now to finally meet Bones. It was in fact not until the day following our spotting her boat, that Boots (her four legged canine companion) whilst out for a walk brought the lovely lady to meet Jaq and I. It was a particular pleasure for Jaq
who has fallowed Bones' blog since 2009.  Later the same day we all cruised cruised on; NB Valerie had an appointment with Mr. Tesco.

People, be it friends or towpath walkers curious about the life we lead, are always surprised about Tesco delivering to a boat. This time it was no different as we moored up at our chosen delivery point. Perhaps it was an unusual place to moor which meant even some boaters asked if all was well, and seemed mystified when I said we were just moored for an hour for a grocery delivery.

Tesco van has pulled up by the stern
Many boaters use the Tesco service including Sue on No Problem who has an information page on her blog about Tesco deliveries.

Personally before I married my lovely Jaq I had no need to have groceries delivered, preferring to get bits as I cruised along. My needs matched my cooking skills (minimal) so it was Jaq who started with deliveries to NB Valerie, having read Sue`s blog back in the U.S.

Google search for Stoke Breurne bottom lock (A)
Our delivery is about once every month when we stock up on the heavy stuff like long life milk, orange juice, flour etc. plus all the other bits. The heavy stuff being delivered is the icing on the cake but to be honest anything being delivered is our heaven. Remember life on land means jumping in the car and going shopping bringing it home in the boot (trunk). Afloat with no car- what a joy- means a bus to the supermarket and carrying it all from the shop to the bus to our boat.

Have you noticed the price of bus fares? I had no idea as I have a pass giving me free travel nationwide, but Jaq being just a youngster, has to wait a few years to get her pass. Anyway the cheapest return fare we have had in the past has been £3.90 ($6.30) and our Tesco delivery costs on average £3 ($4.86) but there are delivery slots available for £1-£6 depending on day/time.

So how to do it;  Modern technology in the form of
Google view of building
Google makes it all very simple. First we figure out roughly where we want to be then we look for where road comes close to canal. Above right, this is the Google search for Stoke Bruerne Bottom lock cottage; the postcode came up straight away but sometimes you need to use what sites come up in your search. Estate agents sites are excellent. Put the little Google man on the map to check you have the right building.
Red line is boat, stern to left.

Our chosen mooring is pictured left. The Tesco van has to pass by to reach the cottage but the special instructions we give will tell him we are on a boat and he will see it as he approaches the cottage and to phone if any doubt. This time the driver just pulled up by the boat and started unloading. We've never had a delivery problem yet.

The satellite view shows the boat shaded Black well away from the lock on the off side. 
The strip of water we are moored across is a slipway for launching small boats.

Our delivery slot was 1pm-2pm and the driver arrived at 1pm exactly. We had been there 15 minutes and within an hour we had put everything away and cruised on.

Banbury Lane bridge number 43 was another possible choice for this delivery. We used the Google man and saw the name of the cottage is Anchor House. Just Google "Anchor House Banbury Lane bridge" and see how easy it is to get the postcode (Zip). The postcode NN7 3JF brings up some choices on the Tesco shopping site.......

 and on the right there it is. NN7 3JF gives a choice of possible addresses. Anchor House is highlighted on the Tesco shopping page.
Did you notice the "Robins nest mooring" on the list? I think this is the mooring in front of the farm as you cruise through the bridge just out of sight in the picture.

A typical screen shot of the delivery times available and the charges.
Tesco is a bit like Marmite: love it or hate it, but for sure it`s been around a long time and is second only to Walmart as the biggest worldwide retailer.
It has over 3,378 stores with 310,000 staff. Worldwide these figures become 6,784 and 500,000. Group sales of  70.9 billion. So as is my historical bent, here are some facts you might find interesting:

 Tesco History

1919  It started on a market stall in the East end of London.
1929  The first shop opened in Edgware north west London.

1947  London stock exchange lists Tesco at  25p. Now 262p

1948  Self service came to St. Albans Hertfordshire.

1960  Household goods and clothing on sale in stores.

1963  Green Shield stamps given in stores. U.S. readers think S&H.

1968  The first Superstore opens in 40,000 square feet. Largest store now is 185,000sq ft.

1977  Green Shield stamps give way to the `checkout at Tesco` campaign. Heinze beans 12 1/2p now 68p.   Butter 19 1/2p now 98p.  Remember the 1/2p.
Fresh and Easy U.S.

1995   Clubcard launches.

1996   Home shopping begins.

2007   Tesco enters the USA with 200 stores in the Western states of Arizona, California  and Nevada trading as `Fresh and Easy` They pulled out in 2013.

Our latest delivery consisted of 101 items, the weight of which makes me sweat just thinking about it. I just love the way Jaq does the grocery shopping. Everything on the Tesco site is pictured and clearly priced and clicking on a product will give you all the information you would see in store. Search and click here.

Jaq reminded me to tell you that you can choose to have your groceries delivered with bags or without--in which case it all comes in plastic boxes and you unload them before the driver leaves. Shoppers can also request substitutions or no substitutions for items which Tesco may be out at the time the shopping is actually taking place and you can also leave notes next to each item in your online shopping cart. For example Jaq will type in next to casserole Beef: "No Irish beef please" and next to veg she adds " This needs to last. Please choose the furthest expiration date from today."

Also, frozen items come in a green plastic bag and refrigerated items come in blue bags. Everything else is in plain white plastic bags. The colour coding makes it easy to see at a glance what items need to be put away first. Tesco sends a confirmation email with all the details of your order and delivery slot right after  your order goes in and while they take your payment information at the time you place your order online, they don't actually charge your debit card until the groceries are gathered and ready to go on the delivery truck.

Since we purchase most of our groceries online, Tesco also sends all our coupons to us via email so we can print them out if we want or they will automatically show up at the bottom of the order when paying so you can click on the ones you want to use.

Groceries may be ordered and a delivery time set up three weeks in advance and she once put in an order while we sat at SEA-TAC International Airport in Seattle, waiting for a BA flight back to the UK.

Tesco's Click and Collect is a free service on the increase but they don't deliver--they gather it all and you pull up and load it in the boot. Still it saves you pushing the shopping cart trolley, (Ooops the American in me surfaces), all over the store for what seems hours.

Like Sue, I put this together to help boaters who might be nervous of the delivery idea and as an insight of another way our lives are similar to land bound folk. Yes we do eat and have beds, kitchens and as one little one said in a whisper from the towpath, "mummy they have a baby sink."

It`s all pretty much home from home as far as, bless her, the kitchen sink is concerned, but some things are constrained by space. Where we boaters gain is the ability to have a different view/garden every day and best of all no stress in that mad fast world away from the towpath.

Well if you have read this far you must have been interested or had time on your hands to waste. Me? I have retirement on my hands and blogging anything is a joy. We also want to say hello to NB Dabchick moored at Weedon. The guy on board hailed us today as we passed saying he enjoys reading our blog! It is always a lovely surprise to hear from our blog readers--on the waterways or around the world.

So with this lovely view outside, the sun tells me it`s a choice of Pimms or a beer. Cheers.

2014 © Jaq


Anonymous said...

If you two charged a subscription fee I'd pay it. Will never use the service but I am Very impressed by the system. Sounds like in runs counter to a lot of your experiences across the pond. Cheers!!! Bloody hot here in Pullman.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Les,
We use the following website to find post codes. I saved it as a bookmark as "Postcode Finder". Just zoom in on your location to find the nearest post code.

All the best to you and Jaq

Tom & Jan

Unknown said...

Plastic bags; what do you do with them? Recycle them hold garbage or?
Here I return them to the originator and they in turn recycle them. Our municipality/region has one of the
highest rates of acceptable recyclable materials in Canadai if not North America (about 78 percent) however plastic shopping bags are still not recycled, by them in our weekly collection.
And explain about Irish beef.

Interesting that Tesco tried and failed in the US market. Marks and Spencer tried in both US and Canada and failed; Target purchased Zellers from the Hudson's Bay Company here in Canada and has spent a bundle rebuilding the stores; and now are losing millions every year here
in Canada.
Their products are not as good a quality, and are priced higher than what Zellers were; often higher than Walmart. Suspect over time, they'll fail here in Canada.
And that in turn may well bring down the entire company in the USA.

And like Jaq, I don't like shopping either however tend to purchase my
fresh veggies from a local chain
known for their produce; always fresh, always there and they sell some of the newer (am going to call them foreign) veggies not seen when I grew up for variety.
Also organic grown items as well.

Les Biggs said...

Hello Karen my lovely
You can pay a fee if you like. We accept payments in $ or £.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Tom/Jan
Thanks have blogged the link.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Bryce
Plastic bags can be returned to the store where they re-cycle. There are a few places on the canal system to re-cyle paper, cans, bottles but not that many. Should be one at every rubbish disposal point.
Sainsbury`s, W H Smith, M and S and dixons have all failed in the U.S.
I like to grocery shop from the PC.
Keep healthy my friend.

MikeW said...

Good stuff Les and Jaq.Where ypu heading?

Les Biggs said...

Hi again Bryce
Jaq finds Irish Beef gamey so avoids it

Les Biggs said...

Hi Mike
Goingup the Leicester arm

Mike on GARNET said...

Just today, moored up near the BOAT in Minworth, Warks. Needed a shop and there is an Asda (Jaq won't be happy!) 5 minutes walk up the A38. Loaded so heavily on the return that we broke a wheel on the shopping bag!
Excellent advice in the post. Tesco does give the option of "no bags".

Anonymous said...

Hi Les & Jaq

I'm playing catch- up on your blog, but couldn't miss commenting on this one...

We are Tesco online users at home but we also have used their service when we take our Narrowboat holidays. We have placed orders to be delivered to the named boat at the boatyard (having first checked with the hire base that this will be okay!). It works really well - we don't need to fill the car with groceries or stop to shop on the way there and it always seems a novelty for Mr Tesco to deliver to a boat!

Best wishes to you both

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs