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What’s with the empty store in Tobermory, the locals would like to know

SCOTTISH islanders have pleaded with The Co-operative Group to send them more fresh food instead of “seasonal crap” like mince pies.

The pleas came after several islanders visited the store in Tobermory, Mull to find vastly empty shelves around the store. 

Sam Jones hit out at the supermarket chain after visiting the store on Monday night, discovering the distinct lack of fresh produce. 

Empty shelves in the Co-op
The store in Tobermory, Mull has struggled to fill the shelves following Brexit.                               Credit: Sam Jones/Twitter

Despite praising the staff operating from within the store, Sam has called upon the retailer to reconsider their distribution to the island.

Sam argued the importance of the store stocking fresh produce, highlighting that other shops on the island aren’t suitable for grocery shopping.

The closest supermarket to Mull is a Tesco in Oban, which requires an hour and a half ferry trip for a return journey.

One image shows an all but empty fruit and vegetable section save for a bushel of apples and some cabbages.

Other fridges are threadbare, with nothing but a small selection of salmon placed above an individual steak pie.

The vast majority of the fridge shelves are completely empty labelled with small black tickets that read: “Sorry we’re sold out.”

Sam took to Twitter on Monday to vent his frustrations about the lack of fresh produce, writing: “We have tremendous staff in Tobermory, however senior Co-op managers need to know this can’t go on.

“Don’t send more mince pies and other seasonal crap, send fresh food.”

Sam said: “We can’t just pop to a Tesco instead.”

The post has now collected over 1,400 likes with more than 500 retweets and dozens of comments from other users venting their frustrations. 

Empty freezers in Mull have left locals annoyed
Social media users have been sharing images of the near empty freezers online.                     Credit: Andrew Wilson/Twitter

Andrew Wilson also posted on Monday about the lack of choice and availability in the store. 

He said: “We have over 3,000 residents who live on the isle of Mull.

“We have one supermarket, the only thing delivered on your lorry today was takeaway sandwiches and fizzy drinks.”

@lilymacd said: “I couldn’t believe it today, stacks of pumpkins and junk but not a vegetable in sight. I agree our local staff are wonderful but this is ridiculous.”

@edgeofmull commented: “It is a lot busier than it usually would be in October, so that’s added to the pressure. No fault of the tourists though, everyone needs a break after the past year or two!”

@nidonocu replied: “The problem is they are sending ‘what they have’. Certain seasonal items are prepared months in advance and being brought out of storage and shipping them is straightforward.

“But other more important items are more easily disrupted and there’s nothing shops can do about it.”

Speaking today a spokesperson for the Co-operative said: “We are very sorry we have run low on some products in a small number of stores, due to a severe ordering system failure, which we are urgently resolving. 

“We understand the genuine inconvenience this will have caused our customers and are taking immediate steps to divert emergency additional supplies to the store to help them restock as quickly as possible, as serving our island communities is a priority and a responsibility we take very seriously.”

Food shortages have been affecting large areas of the United Kingdom since a Brexit deal was finalised and red tape came into place. 

However, due to many European Union citizens deciding to return home instead of staying in the UK, there is a shortfall in drivers which in turn has led to empty shelves in supermarkets around the country. 

It is estimated that there is a shortfall of over 100,000 HGV lorry drivers who would usually pick up and deliver the poultry, fruit and vegetables that sit on the shelves of supermarkets.

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