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Which? magazine: March 2021
What a year it’s been for our supermarkets. Empty shelves caused by panic-buying, isolation and sickness-induced staff absences, Perspex screens at every checkout in the land, not to mention the small matter of Brexit – the centrality of supermarkets to everyday life in the UK has never been so apparent.
The pandemic has made clear how essential supermarkets are for all of us. In this month’s Which? magazine, Ellie Simmonds reports on which supermarkets are getting it right, and which are struggling, in unprecedented times. We’ve quizzed thousands of shoppers about their experiences of buying groceries – and this year we can also reveal how supermarkets compare when it comes to coronavirus safety measures.
Also in this month’s magazine, Hannah Walsh goes undercover to find out more on the big business of fake reviews. In December 2020, we signed up to 10 sites offering review manipulation services to Amazon sellers, posing as either a seller or a potential reviewer. We found a thriving industry that could be adding potentially hundreds of thousands of misleading reviews on to the platform.
Also in this month’s magazine:
- Common appliance faults: repair or replace? Aaron West reveals those you can fix yourself, when to call a professional and when it’s time for a new machine.
- Managing your mental health Living through a pandemic has taken a mental toll on many of us. Anna Studman explains what help is available, how to access it and how COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities in the system.
- How scams are destroying lives From depression to family breakdown and even suicide, Faye Lipson reports on the devastating toll of fraud, the UK’s most common crime.
- Antivirus to keep you protected There are some great options available to protect you and your family’s data, as well as virtual private networks to boost your privacy. Michael Passingham explains.
- Spotless dishes and a cleaner planet These dishwashers are environmentally friendly, but could they save you money too? Felix Wilson reveals the best Eco Buy dishwashers.
From the editor
Our best and worst supermarkets feature is always one of our most popular of the year. But rereading last year’s piece, which went to press in early February 2020, is an odd experience. What we couldn’t have foreseen was that, just weeks later, the first lockdown would bring panic buying, strained supply chains and unprecedented demand for online shopping.
So this year’s article reflects a year like no other for supermarkets – and it’s fascinating to see which have risen to the challenge, and which have struggled to keep up with the pace of change.
Since the context remains so different, we didn’t want our cover to look like business as usual. So, unusually for us, we have a cover star – Arlette Williams.
As our photographer snapped away in the car park, several Aldi shoppers said hello to Arlette, some greeting her by name. Aldi praised her as a customer advocate with strong connections in the community. As consumers, we owe a debt of gratitude to supermarket workers, whether in stores or delivery vans, who have taken personal risk to help us get the supplies we need over the past 12 months – and our cover is a small tribute to them for that
Harry Rose, Editor, Which? magazine
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