Alert reader Shamima Loch, a 30-year Sai Kung resident, has given the new Fusion a lambasting. Her most serious criticism concerned weevils or other living insects spotted in a bag of rice. BUZZ put Shamima’s comments to the AS Watson Group PR manager copied to Finance Director Gavin Black, a Sai Kung resident. The reply was quite comprehensive, showing the way for rival Wellcome’s staff, who are notable for lack of cooperation.
Here’s Shamima’s letter with the PR manager’s lengthy reply below:
My husband and I made our first shopping trip at the newly opened Fusion. We were not impressed.
Despite signage, it was not easy to find products. Example: we went to the drinks section, which has a large selection of canned fizzy drinks – but no soda water. This was placed in a different area.
Looking for rice, I spotted a bag of rice with black dots. Upon closer inspection they were weevils or some kind of living insect. Response from managers was poor. I have since advised all my Sai Kung contacts not to buy rice from this outlet.
Staff were badly trained, not just the managers. One check-out lady told my husband off for not placing a product correctly on the take-out belt and spoke in rough and loud manner — not acceptable.
- Breads: obvious lack of variety. The bakery salesgirl said it was just that what I was looking for was sold out. I did not specify to her what I was looking for.
- Vegetables: obviously NOT as fresh looking as in the Centro shop — best to hit the veggie market on the street corner.
- Poor choice: oatmeal is a popular product these days but only a few commercial brands are offered. Wellcome actually carried a better choice and better brands.
- Also there is an obvious lack of good meat products.
We miss Wellcome. Staff knew most of the locals, had a smile and offered the best service they could. Most importantly they knew what Sai Kung residents wanted and kept an excellent choice for all. Fusion maybe all shiny and new — but weevils…!
Here is the reply from Rachel Chung, Public Relations for Retail Hong Kong, AS Watson Group:
Dear BUZZ Editor,
Thank you for relaying Mrs Shamima Loch’s comments to us. We are sorry to learn about her unpleasant shopping experience at our Sai Kung Garden Fusion store.
We have raised this case with the heads of our operations, buying, merchandising and customer service and discussed with them. We would like to make the following comments:
We provide a wide range of products of more than 12,500 items in this new store covering 15 categories of Asian and Western products to meet the daily needs of our customers.
- Soda water: we do stock soda water both on the shelf and with stack in the drink section. We will see if there is any further improvement we can make for better navigation for customers to find the products they need in our store.
- Rice: we apologise for the incident that upset Mrs Loch to see a pack of rice with weevils (sic). We take this matter very seriously. The duty manager immediately disposed of that pack of rice and did a thorough check on other rice packs to ensure they are in order. Weevils can occur naturally in rice and pasta products although we hope those products never contain such but there is always a small chance that they do occur.
- Staff: we always strive to provide the best service to our customers. Our Operations Manager has been alerted on this case. He will re-educate and re-train the whole store team in the proper manner and attitude to serve our customers.
- Breads and oatmeal: we provide around 70 bakery items including western, Japanese, Korean and local ranges of bread, cakes and desserts. Also, around 40 items of oatmeal are in this store. If there is any specific brand or product that Mrs Loch needs, please do let us know.
- Vegetables: we always strive to provide quality fresh vegetables to our customers. Our store team will increase the checking frequency to ensure we deliver this.
We keep on sourcing globally to provide a wide range and variety of Asian and Western products to our customers in the Sai Kung neighbourhood. If there are any specific products that customers need, we welcome their suggestion. I hope Mrs Loch will give us an opportunity by visiting us again.
May we seek your help to get Mrs Loch’s consent for our customer service colleague to contact and follow up with her? If she prefers, she could also contact our Customer Service Manager Ms Clarina Lau on 2606 8658. Thank you.
Public Relations – Retail HK
A.S. Watson Group