Wednesday, 10 July 2013

BREAKING NEWS: First Review of the New Sainsbury as it opens its doors on an historic day for Bicester.

So - the long years of waiting are finally over. Wednesday 10th July shall go down in history as the first day of the rest of Bicester's life. And as your resident town blogger, I am delighted to be one of the first, if not the first to bring you the low-down on the new store, hot from the presses, barely an hour after it opened!

Jamie Ayres, aged 2, of Bicester, welcomes
 you to your new Sainsbury store
  The glittering new flagship store of the great British Sainsbury flung opens its doors to a hungry and grateful populace at 9am this morning. In fact it was slightly before 9am, as I got there at 8:50am and it was already open. I had a quick chat with a guy from Radio Oxford who wanted to interview me and then I was through the doors, an awesome moment.

Because of the store opening ahead of schedule I was sadly unable to fulfil my ambition of being the first person in the shop to buy something. My initial plan was to have grabbed a paper or something and headed straight to the till, but there was no chance of that, there were people already there. I was desperate for a first something though, and then I spotted the toilets. Perhaps I could be the first to use them. Sadly not - as judging by the grunting and other noises coming from the cubicle, someone else had well and truly got there before me.

No matter - third time lucky and I achieved my goal this time by becoming the first person ever in Bicester to purchase a packet of Pork Breakfast Sausage.

This is a Sainsbury own label product which has been around forever as far as I am concerned. My gran used to give it us when we were kids. We used to call it round meat on account of the fact that it was round and it was meat. OK, not very imaginative but I was only around 4 at the time. Anyway, Sainsbury is the only place that has ever sold this product so I have been quite starved of it since moving to Bicester, with only the occasional trip to Kidlington to stock up to keep me going since.

It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming...
Pork Breakfast Sausage is coming home.
One thing that marks this store out as being different is the fact that it is on two floors. Jamie had great fun on the escalators, and so did I. I only had a basket but I cannot wait to get a trolley on there for a ride.

This young shopper gives the escalators his seal of approval!
The upper floor is given over entirely to non food, and what a range! There is a huge offering up there, far greater than Sainsbury in Kidlington, I would say it was on a par with Asda in Bletchley for all the different stuff you can get. Toys, CD's Clothes, homeware, the list is endless. One of the accusations I have heard the moaning minnies bleat out many times over the years is "You can't get anything in Bicester". Well - now you can. And for those who want to keep the moaning up with "But it's really expensive" well quite frankly I think that is a long standing urban myth about Sainsbury which I tire of hearing. I don't know anywhere else you can get such good and hard wearing children's school trousers from at such good prices, and to give another example, they have got some fantastic Panasonic Blu-Ray players in there at really competitive prices compared to the internet. I know, because I recently bought a Panasonic and it is the best machine I have ever owned, you really can "see every blade of grass", another cliche that gets bandied about.

There is a very nice looking cafe up there as well, I didn't have time to go in but it looked quite decent. That will have to go in a future blog.

The view from the balcony
So that's upstairs, what about downstairs, Mr Carson? Well it's huge. I did not have time to go down every aisle this morning but focused on a few key ones. The whole of the back of the store is given over to deli/ hot food and I have to say it looks amazing. The entire salad bar/ hot chicken is fantastic and makes anything else similar on offer in Bicester look like an afterthought. I picked up a French stick from the Bakery which I have just had a bit of for my breakfast and it was gorgeous. As for the deli itself there is a mouth-watering array of cooked cold meats, pies, and other delicacies - just what Bicester Blogger ordered you could say.

If I have one teeny weeny bit of criticism of the new store and it is very minor is that I was somewhat disappointed with the crisp range, there were not as many different brands as I was expecting. I doubt whether this will be that high on most people's priorities anyway, I do recognise that crisps occupy a more important place in my "hierarchy of needs" than in most people's.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
In mine, crisps come in-between water and sex  on the bottom row.

But it's not a problem as Poundland has an excellent range so I can always nip over there for them. That is the beauty of Bicester now - we really have got everything. Sainsbury has the lot, but for a few cheap alternatives you've got Poundland and Wilko in town (plus Aldi and Lidl) and there's M&S too for those upmarket occasions. We really do have it all now. What a fantastic town this is we live in and it is about to get even better because hot on the heels of this we have got the cinema opening tomorrow and that looks amazing too!

Welcome to the future!

If you have enjoyed reading this blog, please take a look at my books on Amazon (Paperback & Kindle), where you can read lots more of the same! Click here.

Jason xx


  1. Wow - blog entry before your 12 noon deadline, impressive. We are going later this afternoon after school. So excited!!

  2. More of a liver sausage man myself (I see it lurking next to the Breakfast sausage), but I hear you. In a white roll. Takes me back.

  3. Not sure if you saw that there are two parts to the crisp aisle? It goes around the corner and into the next one... As a massive fan of crisps I was quite satisfied xxx :D

    1. Yes, Lynne, sorry, I just posted the same without noticing your comment! You are quite right. So all is well in the world of snack and crisp product consumption!

  4. I dont think the clothes range is any different to the store in kidlington but they do have a better selection on toys electricals ect

  5. You won't be able to 'ride the escalators' on a trolley; they're magmetic and don't roll. You're not allowed to take buggies / prams on there for the same reason.

    That explains the massive queues of mother and buggies waiting for the (only) lift. If I were a parent, I'd be pretty miffed that I wasn't allowed to use the ramps with a buggy.