Crofton Park Co-Op expands

In theory, an organisation that doesn't have to pay shareholders ought to have a bit more cash to re-invest in its business, but in Brockley Central's experience, shopping at the Co-Op is like travelling back in time, to a simpler, less good time. The surest cure for nostalgia.


At some point in the early part of this century, they realised that it was time to try on the Co-Op bank's worthily-aspirational brand halo, gave themselves a nice new spring green makeover and started talking about ethical sourcing. And we almost believed they'd changed, until we stepped inside the Crofton Park Co-Op, the darkest, most poorly-stocked high street supermarket we've ever seen.

But now, it sounds as though the Co-Op may be ready to add some substance to their style. They're expanding sideways in to the recently-evacuated dry cleaners, hopefully a sign that they're going to put some effort in to this site at last.

Thanks to Alistair for the information

48 comments:

Happy Shopper said...

The budgens at that end of town gets my vote. Clean, bright, well stocked and staff that say hello and actually seem to want to be there.

Crofton Park Gooner said...

Agree about Budgens. Jay and Patrick are fantastic. Always happy and chatty and quite often give my little girl a gift. The only thing i prefer about teh co-op is their carrot cake.

Anonymous said...

I love the Co-op, it's been great since they refurbed it a few years ago, and it's not too mung.

Anonymous said...

About time. It's a nightmare negotiating the aisle space it that place when they seem incapable of replenishing the stock outside of their opening hours.

happy Shopper said...

I have no idea what Anons comment @11:18 means. Did a cat walk across the keyboard?

Anonymous said...

Agree about Budgens. But it will be good to have a Co-Op on par with others in S London. Though I do worry the problem is one of poor management as much as lack of space.

Anonymous said...

The Co-Op on Hither Green Lane used to be the same,but it too has been refurbished, and is now great, with much more variety of goods.

Anonymous said...

finally - often give it a try but get irritated by lack of space/stock. hopefully the expansion will improve it.

love budgens.

Crofty said...

Does anyone remember whether the dry cleaner's did dry cleaning on the premises, or whether they sent it away to be done? If they did it there, hope they've decontaminated the site before Co-op takes it over ... if not lawyers may have a field day in the future ...!

father scurvy said...

I love the Co-op......and it's not too mung.

Actually, on the mungometer, the Co-Op ranks pretty high given its ethical approach to the majority of its business.

For the true mung-free shopping experience you should try Iceland or something.

peaseblossom said...

Although I agree with everything said about Budgens, I think you're a bit harsh on the Co-op - the fresh food aisle is not bad at all - significantly better than Costcutter, for example, and overall I don't think they are that badly stocked. However, I do agree that the layout is cramped, they too often have stuff cluttering the aisles, and there are often long, slow-moving queues.

They can be very responsive on occasion, and earned my eternal gratitude on the day when I ran in there, bleeding fairly spectacularly, having tripped up and gashed my leg on the pavement nearby, when I was on my way to give a big presentation to a prospective client. I had about 3 minutes to catch the train and the manager in the Co-op went dashing round the shop to get me some plasters and water and also gave me a big handful of paper towels to help me get cleaned up.

darryl said...

It's taking time, but Co-Ops generally are much improved from a decade or so ago - especially now it's absorbed Somerfield.

Anonymous said...

According to some Scottish bloke on TV it is also "Gud with fud"

Duck said...

Budgens all the way for me. Fantastic staff, nothing is too much trouble for them.

If there is something that they don't have, they will make an effort to get it for you. Can't sing their praises highly enough.

Co-op on the other hand.....

They never have the most basic of things that I am looking for, the shop is a health and safety nighmare in terms of cages of stock laying around the store. Why do they seem to struggle so much to keep the shelves stocked up when Budgens manage perfectly?!

Sorry - rant over but it really annoys me when I see how a well managed co-op can work.

Matt-Z said...

I asked one of the Co-Op staff about this at the weekend who, once he got over his initial suspicion that I was making conversation, said that the Dry Cleaners will become their store room as they have next to no room out the back. Hence I guess the endless crates and boxes in the aisles. If it's only a store room then I doubt the range will be improved much, although the trip hazards will reduce.

Headhunter said...

Never go down that way. It's Lewisham market on Sats, Lewisham centre Sainsbury's, New X Sainsbury's or Old Kent Asda all the way....

Matt-Z said...

Lewisham Sainsbury's is foul, always cramped. It would be better if they rented one or two of the vacant shops in front of the store (one was Thornton's until recently, another a menswear store) to open it up and add more space.

patrick1971 said...

I saw that Thorntons had closed. All you can say about the Sainsbury's in Lewisham is that it's better than it used to be; I prefer to go to the New Cross Gate one.

Echo all that's been said about the Co-op. I want to shop there and like it, but the constant huge crates everywhere are a real disincentive, as is the lack of availability. I don't think I've ever gone on a shopping trip there and come out with everything on my list. You just can't rely on it. The queues are painfully slow as well.

Probably the things wrong with it are a combination of poor management and poor space; hopefully the latter will be rectified by this expansion.

Anonymous said...

Went to Lewisham Sainsbury's for the first time Monday,and couldn't believe how cramped it is.There were that many pushchairs in there I thought Id had walked into Mothercare.

Nob Spotter Bot said...

10 points have been deducted from your credibility bonus for trying to troll about mothers and children.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know the dry cleaners were gone. Another sign of Cameron's economic revival...

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 1256 - I am obsessed with the way he says that.

loppy said...

I agree with Brockley Nick, the Crofton Park Co-op is probably the worst supermarket I have ever been in. The shop is a mess - they never have anything in stock and they are always always filling the place with empty metal crates at the busiest time of day! It almost feels deliberately mismanaged so you don't go in / bother them too much. I'm sticking with Budgens for the time being.

loppy said...

Oh and they make mess of the pavement outside the shop too!

Anonymous said...

Your lucky they dont leave the metal crates outside.

Anonymous said...

New Cross sainsburys is basically a creche - the echoeyness makes their shrieks all the more ear piercing.

Brockley Nick said...

Oh blimey, now kids in supermarkets are a problem...

Tressilliana said...

Before the Co-op took over that store, it was one of the worst convenience shops I've ever encountered. It could all be a lot worse.

Does anyone else remember when the supermarket opposite Sainsbury's in the Riverdale Centre was a Safeway? I think it must have closed in about 88, roughly around the time the big Tesco opened up the road.

Running Nutter said...

Don't get me started in co op in crofton park. What a shambles.

Budgens on the other hand is a class act.

Anonymous said...

Co op - local, late good. #waitstopmoaningbeforetryingthenewimprovedstore

Anonymous said...

You think the Co-op in Crofton Park is the worst supermarket you've ever been to? God, you lot haven't lived!

Anonymous said...

Indeed, cosy Brockley attitudes strike again

Kevin Milburn said...

Seriously Nick, get over yourself re. The Co-op. I choose it every time over the pricier and inferior Budgens. I've been using Co-op for three and a half years and never had any problems in there. Sure there's the odd queue after the trains get in, but the staff are usually good at coming to the till to support their colleagues. The food is fine, stocks are sometimes low by the evening (but then there is little storage space there), the wine is excellent, the music they play instore is good, the staff are friendly. I object to Brockley Central's totally unjust berating of this store, please, lay off and give them a break.

Wha? said...

Kev, can I call you kev? It's an opinion, you think the co op is fine, indeed you even enjoy browsing the shelves while listening to the managers fine selection of coldplay tunes (I understand there is a compilation disk available)

Others have a different opinion, some think that Budgens choice of death metal is better accompaniment while foraging the fresh produce.

Brockley Nick said...

@Kevin

I said it was dark and it is. I said it was poorly-stocked and you seem to be saying the same thing yourself. The rest of the article was about Co-Ops in general - how crap they were before they gave themselves a makeover.

In four years of writing this site, I've kept these opinions to myself and not written about the shop (other than about the issue of them leaving their storage trolleys on the pavement), but now there is a happy ending, because they are trying to fix the problem. This is a glorious celebration of the CP Co-Op's future.

@Late nite anons - tell us some horror stories about the high street supermarkets you've been to in Stockton and Kurdistan. Blow our tiny minds.

Rise of the Idiots said...

I hate everyone on here except Kevin.

not kevin said...

diddums.

Mb said...

Coldplay curdles milk FACT!

Welcome to 2011 said...

@Rise of the Idiots - a name that is also a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Anonymous said...

There was a Safeway in the Lewisham Centre?!? Who knew?! Whhich unit was it in? There hardly seem any large enough to contain a supermarket.

I used to like Safeway :(

Duck said...

AND.........

The beer / wine fridges are NEVER working therefore always warm!

Grrrrrrrrr!

not mr kipling said...

It promised much when it opened, and I remember it being pretty well-stocked then. And although I'd like to defend them, it has gone downhill since re stock - a problem with seemingly every supermarket I use.

Example: you'd be mooching down the aisles looking for a specific shopping basic and discover with open-jawed wonder they also do Mrs Heckmondthwaite's deluxe Eccles Cakes which you've not seen or had since you were a nipper. And being someone who has since become a leading authority on Eccles cakes, you make a point of effectively doing all your shopping there, so you can pick up a packet of said buttery, pastry parcels of Vostizza curranty fantastic-ness.

Then the day cometh when they stop stocking them, and you can't see any reason to shop there again.

Matt-Z said...

Anon @11:50 - supermarkets have grown in size as well as number over the years. There used to be a Kwik Save in there which is now a pound store

Martin Tiedemann said...

The Co-op as a democratically run business has a committee of elected reps covering South London. Thanks for the feedback, we're reading and will pass back to staff. Please let us know if you have suggestions on how we can improve our stores or have ideas for new locations.

Martin Tiedemann
coopvoice@gmail.com

patrick1971 said...

Wow, thanks for coming online Martin. For me the biggest improvement the Co-op in Crofton Park could make is stock. It's a small store so you expect it to be a bit cramped. But I feel that I can't rely on the Co-op to have things in stock. Fresh produce on a Sunday (or in the evenings on the way home from work) is almost non-existent, ditto sliced cheese. Fruit juice and laundry liquid are also touch and go, ditto olives and even often things like spaghetti and pasta sauce.

Haven't looked for mung beans :-)

Anonymous said...

The store really needs to do something about its chilled displays for fruit & veg. I've stopped buying from it because of the number of times fruit & veg has gone off/developed mold or fungus within a couple of days. I don't think this can be explained by their suppliers as I've had no problems with fresh, inc organic, produce from elsewhere - including other Co-Op stores.

Anonymous said...

Would a real Co-Op person use a gmail address?

Patrick - no need to go out for them in your house, you harvest your own.

anonymoose said...

@anon 19.31 - apparently so. A quick Google search confirmed his existence and affiliation to the Co-op.

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