Is the Micromarket the new Starbucks?

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Tuesday 21 September 2010 2.06pm
I'm sure that we all remember, a couple of summers ago when Starbucks started its plan to take over every other shop in the high street. I am beginning to be concerned that the Supermarket chains are starting to think the same. We now have, either planned or completed five Tesco and two Sainsbury Microstores. Now I know that the Elephant and Castle Shopping centre is closing together with its Tesco and, hopefully, a new supermarket put in its place, but this proliferation doesn't seem very balanced. Of course, because the venues are smaller, everything costs more but, having now shopped in a few, I'm pretty sure they're also aiming at the higher end of the market with many of the products. Above all, a big concern is that once the new Supermarket has been built at the Elephant are they likely to close most of the other stores or continue to be a frequent frontage for the area.

I wondered what everyone thought of this. And yes, I wouldn't mind a Waitrose either!
Wednesday 22 September 2010 8.17am
a very good analogy dronid. I think they choose higher margin products to maximise the revenue and profit - hardly surprising - but I also find the quality and choice limited and dire. The fresh produce is not fresh, the meat is usually some poor quality mince or steak, and maybe a couple of chicken breasts - hardly inspiring food choices. These stores are replacing traditional convenience stores but are not realising their potential and offering decent quality products - the stores are all generic boring and bland - the Starbucks of grocery stores. If I was Mr&Mrs Tesco Metro, I'd be looking at my local market and stocking the store to meet my customer needs.

The microstores will stay in place once the new supermarket is open - just visit Clapham High Street to see the Sainsbury supermarket with a Sainsbury local about 8 doors down the same street.... or Streatham High Road where I think there are now 3 Locals leading to the supermarket at Streatham Common.

Waitrose talked about opening smaller Grocer style stores but this seems to have gone quiet since the recession hit....
Wednesday 22 September 2010 10.37am
There's a smaller style Waitrose at Angel and they have opened up at several motorway service stations too but don't seem to be doing much in central London for now...but the choice issue is a maybe a bit more biased towards convenience itself and therefore limited in choice by the store size and not intended to replicate larger supermarket formats.
Wednesday 22 September 2010 4.17pm
"Capitalism takes no prisoners", as Adam Smith said 200 years ago.
Wednesday 22 September 2010 5.24pm
The Waitrose convenience format is still very much in the trial stages. They are seeing what sizes and ranges work best. I'd imagine given the cost of property in London they don't want to just jump straight in and make an expensive mistake.
Thursday 30 September 2010 11.31am
A recent Commons adjournment debate on this issue:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-09-13b.712.0

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