Snowstorm leaves Pettitts with 'cold turkey' dilemma
'IT'S AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER,' said Padraig Doran, the manager of Pettitts SuperValu in St. Aidan's Shopping Centre on Tuesday after three inches of snow fell and traffic came to a standstill around the supermarket.
' We had a brief rush during which people managed to get it but then the schools let everyone out and traffic came to a stop,' he said.
Then the phone started ringing non-stop with calls from anxious customers worried about collecting turkeys and hams for their Christmas dinner.
Facing the prospect of a trading catastrophe in the busiest week of the year, the supermarket decided to take action and hired a digger to clear the car park and the hill leading from Browne's of Bishopswater.
'No-one could get up the hill so we rang the Council and asked if we could clear it ourselves with a digger and they gave the go-ahead,' said Padraig.
The supermarket, which had 3,000 turkeys lying in a cold room waiting to be collected on Wednesday and Thursday, also hired jeeps and local drivers, with the intention of delivering groceries to customers unable to drive in from outlying areas.
'We have people ringing in to give us their Christmas shopping order. A number of staff are answering the phones. People are afraid they're not going to get in to do their shopping. They left it as late as possible to pick up their meat and vegetables and now they're worried about getting them.' Padraig said Pettitts SuperValu would do everything it could to ensure that people get their Christmas dinner. Padraig said the supermarket had been dreading another fall of snow before Christmas.
In anticipation of more snow, the supermarket stockpiled a tonne of salt to use in the car park and bought a machine to spread it.