Protesters against the expansion of the supermarket giant Tesbury's have struck in Manchester with a cash-back scam that has left the national chain of grocery stores fuming.
"We're very disappointed," said Tesbury's managing director Tessa Coe. "This protest has caused untold disruption in all our stores in the Manchester area. We cannot fathom a reason for it."
Protest organiser, Olly Garck, was able to explain: "Tesbury's have been buying land across the UK with no intention of actually putting a store on the land, but instead denying the expansion of other supermarkets, leading to large expanses of wasteland that nobody can do anything with. Manchester is just the latest in a long line of cities we have protested in."
As there is no legal challenge possible to Tesbury's land grab, the only avenue open to the protest group, People Rallying Against Tesbury's, was to target the stores directly. Over the past year, PRAT have worn pyjamas en-mass in Gateshead, taken eleven items through the ten items or less till in Liverpool and bought one bottle of beer at a time on the self service checkouts in Lincoln. For Manchester, the spiritual home of Tesbury's, a special protest was arranged via Facebook.
"We all bought something fairly trivial on debit cards, like chocolate, or mints, or a plasma television," said Garck. "And when we were asked if we wanted cash-back, we said yes, one pound eighty-eight pence."
The protesters chose one pound eighty-eight pence as it is the most awkward amount to receive, requiring the most number of coins, requiring one pound coin, one fifty pence coin, one twenty pence coin, one ten pence coin, one five pence coin, one two pence coin and one one pence coin.
"It caused massive queues," said Coe. "Getting one of each coin is a pain for the checkout operators. We're disappointed in their methods, but not too upset, as we saved a fortune in getting coins to the bank and additionally the protesters spent a fortune in the stores."