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Don Pumsey: at the Department of Retail Infrastructure and Pricing.

Sit down, gentle readership, and fix yourselves a stiffy--Pimm's is on promotion so that'll do for starters. I don't want to shock you unduly, but I've just came back from Aldi, Grocer of the Year. That's not Aldi, Grim Teutonic Pound Shop or Aldi, Chav Magnet, but Aldi, Grocer of the Year.

Of course I'm an outrageous snob--how on Earth do you think I got into politics in the first place? But from time to time, I do like to visit the places the poor people go to, if only to absorb a little of the phoney common touch that worked so well for Gordon 'Arctic Monkeys' Brown and William 'Reversed Baseball Cap' Hague. So the top gang at the recent awards bash was reason enough for me to pop in at the closest Aldi to my rolling Berkshire estate--ie the Bootie branch.

Forgive me if I'm taking the concept of 'grocer' a little too literally here, but you have to ask yourselves what exactly the distinguished panel of judges were on when they made their decision. I can only assume it was something stranger than Aldi's 2.88 [pounds sterling] St. Amandus Liebfraumilch, which was flying off the pallets and which, believe me, is exactly as delicious as it sounds. I have a slightly traditional view of what a grocer should offer, particularly if it also unashamedly describes itself as a supermarket. Call me fussy, but I want a one-stop shap where I can get pretty much everything I need--not a cross between a Berlin boot sale and a UN aid depot.

But they don't call me Lucky Don for nothing, and I was delighted to run into a posse of my old drinking chums from Weber Shandwick, spin doctors to such corporate good eggs as Nestle, British Nuclear Fuels and, it seems, Aldi. Turns out THEY were responsible for the victory, due to their skills in "understanding the award criteria and producing concise and creative entries", or "making stuff up", as you or I might put it. Given Weber's astronomical fees, it seems Aldi's margins aren't quite so schlimm, after all.
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Author:Pumsey, Don
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 27, 2009
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