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Letters: Sold out, or not stocked?

Published:  18 January, 2007

In your piece titled Christmas sparkling price war begins' (Harpers, 25 November, p.3), you attribute empty shelves in one Sainsbury's branch to the success of one of their promotions. If my local branch (in the O2 Centre, Finchley Road, London NW3) is anything by which to judge, it is more likely to be lack of stock. They have had no Sainsbury's own-brand gin for more than two weeks. Moreover, neither they nor the Sainsbury's Customer Careline can tell me when they will have any.
And Sainsbury's own-brand gin has not been on promotion.
Yours sincerely,
Tom Bedford (retired)

Sainsbury's replies:

We are very disappointed that, due to a fire at the factory that supplies all our own-brand gin, our in-store availability for this product has been impacted. Unfortunately, the fire destroyed the entire production plant, but we are now doing everything we can to ensure a limited amount of stock is available for our customers. We are communicating with stores and customers to bring them up to date with the current situation, and we hope to be back to full availability very soon.