- Many supermarkets chain all their shopping trolleys together in long lines. Each trolley is securely linked to the one in front.
- In order to borrow a trolley, you must insert a £1 coin into a slot or slider located near the chain
- When you return the trolley, you can recover your £1 by using the chain on another cart to secure your trolley to the end of the line
- I have heard reports of European vistors using 1€ coins to release UK trollies and some discount stores sell £1 sized supermarket trolley tokens
- It is normally acceptable to take a supermarket trolley to a car in the supermarket car-park, (providing you return it.) However, if you travel too far, a security brake can lock the wheels
- Some supermarkets have two floors. If you encounter a moving metal "conveyer belt" (with no steps) joining two floors, you MAY be allowed to take your trolley on the conveyor belt. The trolleys may have been modified to lock securely onto the belt and automatically release themselves on arrival at the desired floor.
The Shopping Experience
- The cost of an identical item can vary between stores. (Prices can even vary between different branches of some chain stores!)
- The largest shops often offer the lowest prices but some small shops have very competitive prices
- Respectable shops normally display the price of every item, either on the product or on the shelf
- Haggling is unusual in the UK because shop prices are set by store management, the shop staff are not normally allowed to change any prices
- Most stores accept cash (UK currency), contactless, credit or debit cards. Larger stores will often accept mobile phone payments.
- In the UK, fresh milk is far more poular than long-life milk. (This may be linked to our liking for Tea and breakfast cereals.)
- Milk sold in the UK has normally been "pasturised." This procedure involves heating the milk for short period of time and it removes any risk from bacteria without spoiling the product
- Fresh milk in the UK is normally sold in a measure called a "pint." One pint is 568 ml (just over half a litre.) It often comes in distinctively shaped plastic containers of 1 pint, 2 pints, 4 pints or 6 pints.
- Some smaller shops sell milk in metric measures. The containers usually have a similar appearance but contain less liquid than their imperial counterparts.
Shopping on Sundays
- Most large shops and major supermarkets are only allowed to open for a maximum of 6 hours on a Sunday. Smaller shops are allowed to trade normally.
- Those shops which open on a Sunday usually trade between 10:00 and 16:00 but these hours can vary between 10:00-16:00 and 12:00-18:00
- A shop may "open its doors" early but the tills must not operate before trading time.
- Most "chain stores" publish openning hours on their website and/or on a poster near the entrance
- The normal Sunday Trading rules only apply on Sunday and you will occassionally see 24 hour trading on other days. Most of the larger local supermarkets are open early morning to late evening on other days.
- Larger stores must remain closed throughout Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. They can open on the other public holidays but many choose to open late or close early.
Tobacco and Cigarettes
- Although tobacco products are sold in many shops, there are strict rules contolling sales
- Tobacco vending machines are forbidden
- Shops cannot sell to customers under the age of 18. If you are not obviously over age 18, you may require and ID document
- It is illegal to sell flavoured cigarettes
- The packaging (cigarette pack) must be a standardised colour with a specified health warning and standardised manufacturer branding
- It is normally illegal for normal shops to advertise tobacco products at the point of sale
- Cigarettes are often "hidden" in large cabinets located behind supermarket counters/help desks
- Staff will open the cabinets, take out the cigarettes you request and then close the cabinet door
- It is illegal to smoke in certain places
- Public Transport
- Indoor public spaces (including pubs) (except special smoking rooms)
- Indoor workplaces (except special smoking rooms)
- Although the sale of e-cigarettes (vaping) is more relaxed than tobacco, this product is also tightly regulated