Jack’s is the new kid on the block when it comes to discounts supermarket – and is already proving a hit with shoppers.
One of the most popular branches is in Rubery, on the Worcestershire – Birmingham border, which has taken the area by storm.
Located at the end of the New Road shopping centre in Rubery, Jack’s has been there for three years now and is a firm favourite amongst locals.
With Christmas less than a month away, we went there to see what you can get if you decide to do all your festive shopping there.
And from what we found, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed and will save a fortune.
Who is Jack’s?
Jack’s is named after Tesco founder Jack Cohen, who was committed to bringing affordable food to everyone – and it sure is.
The branch in New Road, Rubery, welcomed its first customers in November 2018 on the site of the former Tesco Metro and has done a roaring trade ever since.
What’s it like?
First impressions are good. There is a big, free car park with plenty of spaces and the entrance is well sign-posted.
Once inside, you are immediately met with the enticing aromas of freshly-made bread and cakes from the in-store bakery.
There is also a display of ‘seasonal’ must-haves – in this case de-icers and scrapers for cars – and then ‘grab and go’ magazines, newspapers and sandwiches.
Inside it is bigger than it looks from the outside, with a wide selection of all kinds of food and drink and other groceries.
BrumWish 2021 aims to get thousands of Christmas gifts to young children in need across our city – the homeless, the vulnerable, kids in care and kids who have little.
This year’s appeal is bigger and better than ever – because we have teamed up with our partners at #Toys4Birmingham, including Thrive Together Birmingham, the Birmingham Playcare Network, the Edgbaston Foundation and Birmingham Forward Steps.
Also involved are Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Barnardo’s, Spurgeon’s children’s charity, the Springfield project in Sparkhill, St Paul’s Community Development Trust and Your Local Pantry, which runs food hubs in 12 locations across Birmingham and the Black Country.
You can buy a gift from the #Brumwish Amazon Wishlist here.
Or you can collect and drop off donations of new and nearly new toys and gifts to special donation days at Edgbaston Stadium, B5 7QU, on Saturday November 27, Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4, from 11am to 3pm, where volunteers will be waiting to see you.
Brand new or nearly new, unwrapped gifts, books and toys for all ages will be accepted.
You can also donate cash, which will go into a fund held by a charity partner to use to plug gaps or buy specialist toys for children with additional needs. This is the link to make a donation.
And just like its German rivals, it has a big middle aisle filled with random items you didn’t know you needed.
While it’s a bit early to get the fresh food, it makes sense to plan ahead and buy frozen and items you can freeze now.
There was a good selection of festive food at Jack’s and the prices were impressive.
With all the talk of a shortage of turkeys this year, why not get ahead of the game and buy a frozen one?
We found the Rubery branch’s freezers full of frozen turkeys and turkey crowns, with prices for a Bernard Matthews one which serves between six and 10 people for the bargain price of £19.75.
Other festive favourites is a tub of camembert for baking for £2, Baileys extra thick cream £1.75, six mince pies 79p, 12 pigs in blankets £1.80 and a jar of cranberry sauce 55p.
Christmas party food
Invitations for festive parties have already starting rolling out, and that means the hosts will be heading out for all the food and drink they need.
And it seems Jack’s is a good place to go, with all our buffet favourites at low prices.
There wasn’t a massive selection, but a member of staff told me the range will be expanded in the coming week as Christmas party season gets nearer.
We found tubs of Roses and Celebrations for £3.50, big tubes of Pringles £1.50, 12 ham and cheese croquettes £2.99, 10 halloumi fries £2.99, 10 tail-on breaded king prawns £2.99 and 12 buffalo wings £2.
But fear not – there’s a good selection at Jack’s and the prices are very budget friendly.
There’s a lot to choose from, but we found the way they were displayed very confusing as they are spread out randomly throughout the store, with no obvious toy section.
Like other discounters, there is a “when it’s gone it’s gone” rule – so if you see something you like, you need it to grab it quickly.
One of the most wanted items is the pink Fiat 500 toy car for £99 and the blue Range Rover Evoque for £139.
Other popular items include the Tikes Shoot and Score inflatable game for £8, the hula hoops variety pack £10, a girl’s beauty vanity case £25 and doll’s buggy for £8.
Decorations and cards
We all like to deck out our homes with trees and decorations and these can be expensive.
And if you still send cards, once you’ve included all your family and friends, the bills can mount up.
Jack’s had all of these items – not the biggest selection I’ve ever seen – and all were very cheap.
We found a pre-lit 6ft tall Christmas tree for £8, a wide selection of Christmas cards, with individual ones starting at just 25p each.
There was also a range of decorations, including a small wooden reindeer for £4, packets of baubles in a range of colours from blue, pink, gold, and more for just £1.50.
Gifts for adults
After food, the next biggest expense is presents and buying for your loved ones can be tricky – and costly.
If you’re not fussed about the quality and originality of the presents you hand over on December 25, then Jack’s has some options.
Again, presents are scattered throughout the store and are hard to find, but if you persevere and find them, then you can save a fortune.
We found a Yankee Candle gift set for £25, a Bayliss and Harding mulberry fizz slipper gift set £10 and a mini flip-table football game for £5.
There was also a cocktail making set for £10 and a make-up brush set for £8.50.
If you really want to push the boat out and spoil someone then there are flat screen TVs, with a 40- inch screen for £219, and a 50inch for £359.