Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Easter in January at Waitrose

Waitrose started promoting Easter merchandise on the 2nd January; Easter Sunday is not until 17th April and naturally ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ mentality kicked in on social media

Waitrose presents itself as a supermarket for the sophisticated. It’s more the kind of place you’d expect to find Jennifer Aldridge of The Archers than perhaps, say, Gail Platt of Coronation Street, but now the retailer to royalty has been slammed online after “going after the chav market.”


On the 2nd January – a supposed ‘day of rest’ when the no doubt still pissed-up public were no doubt still recovering from their Christmas and New Year bingeing hangovers – one Rebecca Norton-Gray uploaded two images of merchandising in an unnamed store to Facebook and assiduously captioned them: “No, no, no, no. Today. Waitrose (South Coast).”


The pictures shared featured Cadbury’s Mini Eggs and Lindt chocolate bunnies and were accompanied by signage reading: “Easter: Sunday 17th April.”


Clearly joining the somewhat flustered Ms Norton-Gray in being not as enthusiastic for another holiday fest as the management of that particular store, other members of the ‘Overheard in Waitrose’ Facebook group reacted with equal shock, fury and amazement.


Another member of the nigh on 21,000 strong group, Abi Lewis, described the marketing of Easter 105 days early as “mental” and added: “On Christmas Eve… they were taking down the Christmas shelving and filling up with Easter eggs and Easter bits” whilst an especially militant ‘Catherine McG’ proposed action and declared: “Too soon. Melt them.” What is she proposing to do? Pop round her local store with a flamethrower?


Taking a contrary view, one Bob Anderson Bowden, obviously had other things on his mind. He scoffingly suggested: “People really have lost the ability to not get riled up over things they could just ignore, eh?” whilst Fred Hill turned to comedy and concluded: “Oh my God. I’ve only just come to terms with the birth of our baby Jesus and now you want me to mark his execution with a bunny and an egg. I’m an atheist but this is superficial by even my standards.”


Thinking outside the box and instead focused on matters of the heart, Andrea Marlowe brought up Valentine’s Day on 14th February and enquired as to what the supermarket was doing about that. Her priority, most definitely, was for love and lust rather than Easter and chocolates.


Finally, meanwhile, Peter Raymond was clearly someone who’s truly simply had enough of utterly everything. He opined: “Oh, for f#@% off!!!”



Iris Apfel Magnum
In May 2020, members of the Facebook group got especially overexcited after news emerged that Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco had put out “urgent recall notices” for Magnum White ice cream tubs “because they contain milk” in spite of Waitrose being unaffected by the recall. Nonagenarian Magnum brand ambassador Iris Apfel – a living legend who believes: “More is more and less is a bore” – was sadly not asked for comment.
Waitrose Lidl carrier bags social distancing
Earlier in April that year, a member of the group gave advice on how to ensure social distancing when shopping and remarked: “When shopping in Waitrose, ensure others shoppers stay the recommended two metres away by taking a Lidl carrier bag with you.”
Mike Alan magician coat savaged
In December 2020, a self-professed “international magician” named Mike Alan went “mental with a cucumber after alleging a ‘razor sharp’ M&S shelf ‘savaged’ his coat and left him ‘looking like a snowman.’” Aptly from Tunbridge Wells, Kent – a place best known for originating a complaining sort going by the name of ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ in June 1929 – subsequently received advice from readers of ‘The Steeple Times’ that numbered: “Should have gone to Waitrose.”

An early example of ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ correspondence:

SIR – Being present at the unveiling of the plaque on Thursday last week on the Pantiles, I was surprised when the National Anthem was played to see that in a place like Tunbridge Wells, which is noted for its loyalty and calls itself ‘Royal,’ there should be people who refused to remove their hats. Are such people Communists? If they are, Tunbridge Wells should be no place for such as they. We can do without them.


Letters to the Editor, ‘Tunbridge Wells Advertiser’ – 14th June 1929.


Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. Do people really have nothing better to get worked up about in the UK these days???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Down Under we’ve got bloody immigrants and lockups and that f$%^ing tennis player invader!!!!!!!!!!!!! And some woke woman is getting billy-o about f$%^ing Easter eggs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lock her up!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I thought Waitrose and John Lewis were of some kind of religious/partnership sort of thing. Isn’t this against the spirit of Methodism or whatever they were originally about?

  3. An absolute insult to the Christian festival of Easter. Shame on Waitrose and from now on I shall boycott their overpriced store. Shame on Waitrose. Shame on Waitrose. Shame on Waitrose.

  4. Unless there’s a bit in the Bible that passed me by, chocolate Easter bunnies and Easter eggs are surely minimally connected to the crucifiction of Christ (one reason we hide the eggs for children to find?). So, if it encourages us to eat more chocolate by selling it all from January, bring it on, Waitrose.

  5. The Taliban will be disgusted.
    Easter eggs are obnoxious.
    Duck racing is cruel and I got banned from Oz. I am forced to look at Uluru from a dried up pond, and unable to train.
    I get no publicity for these actions. Next thing is, they will melt me down and recycle me
    These are the things that matter in the world.

  6. Well my dear old mother 93 and her sister 98 take a trip to Waitrose in Bath twice a week. Ellen my mothers sister still drives, and they treat this as a complete day out. I must ask them what they think of Waitrose for selling Easter Eggs early January, although you can’t criticise the shop in their eyes.
    I also declined an offer of being picked up by them from Heathrow, on my last visit home.


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