Savvy shoppers on Barra are shunning high prices and lack of choice in their local supermarket in favour of getting their groceries from a store in Glasgow.
Islanders have been raising their concerns about the lack of fresh healthy choices in the Castlebay Co-op since it opened in 2007 and have now taken matters in their own hands by taking advantage of Asda’s online shopping service.
The first delivery from the Asda store in Govan, Glasgow arrived on the island last week and is proving very popular with locals.
The groceries have been delivered to the island by local haulage company Barratlantic.
The issues with the Co-op on Barra have been highlighted time and time again by the local community and also in a report by the Western Isles Tenants and Residents Association (WITRA) and by local MP Angus MacNeil.
Mr MacNeil said their were large price variations on everyday goods between the Castlebay store and other stores in the islands and said the people of Barra should be treated fairly.
A statement from the Co-op said this week: “We are always keen to hear of any concerns our customers may have, and we do our best to take account of any feedback. We have served Barra for many years, and look forward to continuing to do so. We have a loyal customer base and many of our shoppers are also Co-operative members who like our ethical trading policies and our share of profits scheme.”
He added: “In common with other major retailers, our prices differ across our store network, as operating costs vary, and smaller stores are proportionally more costly to run than larger ones, but we do not apportion costs on a geographic basis, so customers in more remote areas, such as Barra, do not have to pay any premium for additional transport costs.”
Despite this reassurance, the people of Barra are using their initiative to find ways of getting the goods they want.
Derek Adrain, Home Shopping Manager at Asda at Govan said: “We’re absolutely delighted to hear that the residents of Barra are enjoying the great value, quality and service offered by Asda.
“Families should be able to benefit from low prices on their shopping wherever they live, and Asda.com means they can do this from the comfort of their home.”