Monday, March 29, 2010

Not just any climbdown

Flight of fancy? - S&M’s shortlived helipad

Posh supermarket S&M have been forced to make an embarrassing turnaround after their implementation of prohibitive parking charges at their Petersfield branch.

In an effort to diffuse the situation, S&M spokesperson Claire Duncan-Biscuit said: “There is no blame culture here at S&M, but it’s all the signwriters’ fault, the signs should never have read £10 - this was a typo."

New signage is now in place stating that the car park still costs £2 for an hour, but that this is refundable after a minimum in-store spend of £5, not £10 as originally intended.

However, despite Duncan-Biscuit blaming the £10 charge on the signwriter, we have evidence that the £10 charge was completely intentional, and that S&M’s original plans simply backfired.

One disgruntled employee, Michelle Festacker said: “The intention was always to clear the car park, and this worked perfectly. We were then going to have a helicopter pad, as I believe you originally reported. But, S&M couldn’t get agreement from the Civil Aviation Authority to have helicopters land at the site and that has forced this massive turnaround."

We put this to Duncan-Biscuit and she was very defensive.

“Nonsense, as I said it was an unfortunate error, and that has now been rectified," she insisted.

“We are now concentrating our efforts to stop all the chavvy parents parking here both in the morning when they drop off their oik kids and later in the day when they want to go to the 99p shop.

“We feel that a £2 fee should deter this type of character; surely they’d rather spend this kind of money on a bottle of Stella or cider."

Car park attendant Ray Gunn has been forced to hand back the table tennis bats that he was going to use to guide in the helicopters, and is once again focusing on what he calls “the criminals who park here illegally”.

Gunn added: “I can’t wait to get back to normal. At the moment word hasn’t got around and so the car park is still empty. S&M is reluctant to advertise the reduction because it looks pretty bad. They are hoping the news will spread on the grapevine.

“I rely on there being a certain number of cars in the car park for me to hide behind. Until things pick up, there is not much chance of me racking up any decent fines.”

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