Countdown in Upper Hutt - you are FAIL yet again.

Having lived in Upper Hutt for a couple of years now, we've been trying to do the majority of our shopping in the local - instead of travelling 15-20 minutes to Lower Hutt and dealing with the larger volumes of, well, everything.

Generally Countdown has been our supermarket of choice for a while, with Lower Hutt serving us well enough while we were down there and Upper Hutt being the most convenient for various reasons.

However for the last several months we've noticed that we can get the majority of our shop done at Upper Hutt - but we're always scooting around the corner to Woolworths for odd things - an ongoing frustration!

Today was case in point; we hit the supermarket around 4.30pm. Talk about frustrating!

Bread, anyone?

How about Milk? (Okay, yes, there was Milk; however whatever is meant to be in this large space, is clearly missing.)

Pizzas and Pies were present, but scarce (note white spaces!). Sorry for the corners, was an angle shot with my phone.

Glad we didn't want to sample the Yogurt that was on special.

This is by no means the first time we've found empty shelves where we've wanted to find other specific products. (Rather, it's the first time i've felt inspired to take photos.) Recent examples include:

- Bread is regularly down to almost NIL.
- Baby Balsam that I was hunting for the other night, was 'next to the Vicks Vaporub'. A shame the Vicks shelf was entirely empty (where the Home Brand version of same was full to overflowing, right next door). The Balsam was missing too.
- Rice Milk. Our daughter being dairy-allergic, we tend to buy anywhere from 10 to 16 litres of Rice Milk per Fortnight. Several times we've had to hit all three Supermarkets in Upper Hutt to get sufficient (that's Countdown, Woolworths and Pak'n'Save.). They've been slightly better lately, i'll give them that...
- Fruit'n'Veg. We tried both Countdown and Woolworths tonight, and could not find a single Lettuce. Lots of the Fruit and Veg (esp Fruit) available lately has been of very average quality. Infact wifey was filling me in on a small drama from the other week involving fruit that literally disintegrated in the hands of customers...
- Sour Cream. Occaisionally impossible to find stock that isn't 2 days from expiry.
- English Muffins. The selection is usually pretty piss-poor.
- A product that I cant remember now; it was on special for several weeks and we looked several times; it was NEVER on the shelf. Always had one of those 'sorry, temporarily out of stock' items. We were riled at the time, but now can't remember what it was!

Frustration~!!! I should say for the record that Woolworths is often better than Countdown at having the things we need, so rarely do we actually get entirely stuck; but it has happened. Woolies are also more expensive, so we don't prefer to shop there frequently.

So we're left multi-hop shopping expeditions because the local can't seem to keep it's shelves stocked? (Oh, and they seem to like dropping pallets of stuff into the middle of one of their wider isles, as if they have nowhere else to store it.)

Heh, and to top it all off, by the time we got back to the car I got to marvel at this piece of genius parking:

Tiny lil car. Nice sized parking space. Why'd he have to park so close to my wagon?

My 4 year old was suprisingly savvy and managed to get into her seat without damaging either car. I'm not quite so skinny, but managed it. Minor, but silly nontheless. (And FWIW I don't believe there was any extenuating circumstance; when we parked, there was a different small car beside us and he'd left heaps of room.)

So poor parking jobs aside, it really would be nice if Countdown would sort out their supply chain and stock levels. Especially when they're advertising specials on stuff they can't keep on the shelves?