Following on from discussions about the Hartley, TBR is desperately in need of some revitalisation and I think the arrival of Tesco Express will be a good thing, pulling people into the local area who will hopefully then go on to spend money with other local businesses.
i agree TBR could do with some rejuvination but I don't agree Tesco in whatever guise (Metro, Express, etc) is the answer. It doesn't matter what direction you walk in from the Bricklayers' Arms, you will come across a Tesco store within a five-minute walk (Long Lane, Southwark Park Road, E & C and OKR). Local businesses in Deptford have complained that business has dropped by over 50% since the arrival of Tesco.
I don't know what it is that TBR needs to re-invent itself, but I don't think it is another Tesco store.
I understand that Tesco (or any supermarket) will create competitive pressures for some of the local traders who stock competing products (off licences, grocery shops, etc.), but it could also increase footfall as people walk to TBR for their groceries.
This increased footfall will benefit:
- the fantastic cobblers/key cutters
- Bijan (great picture framers)
- the restaurants
- any store that doesn't sell groceries/competing products
Preventing Tesco moving into areas isn't the solution IMHO. Existing businesses need to innovate and change their approach - for example, the St James Supermarket in the Blue has fabulous fruit that Tesco could never match and that draws people in. The shops around TBR should look for similar ways of differentiating themselves before Tesco arrives.
I doubt that many people stopping to use Tesco will nip in to get a picture framed or their shoes re heeled nor pop in for a meal. I can see 4 or 5 boarded up shops decaying as a result. If tesco do sandwiches etc many of the small cafes and sandwich bars may find they loose trade as a result of this not gain. .
It raises awareness of the other shops - you wouldn't get your shoes resoled every day, nor frame a picture, but you might to discover those shops on your way in/out of Tesco which drew you to TBR in the first place.
On sandwiches, I think a supermarket sandwich and deli/cafe sandwich are quite different. If you want something cheap you go to Tesco; if you want something filling and made to order you go to a sandwich shop/cafe.
Like everybody else, I want to see more good shops on TBR, not less. I just wanted to make the point that Tesco coming in might have a positive spin for retailers that use it to their advantage.
i think that people using tesco will be the people that use the other supermarkets in TBR now as there will be no where to park etc and with Sainsbury's and other tesco stores close by I cannot see anyone going out of their way to shop there. This could lead to many of these small shops including newsagents,off licences as well as grocery stores closing down ( and if you talk to some of the shop keepers such as in Pinkies and Bella news they are already having a hard time due to the Sainsbury's which has taken a lot of their trade-this is not new trade but exsisting trade moving largely) One has to wonder what will replace them? another nail bar? my fear as stated is that we will just end up with a lot of empty shops.
dee dee has just raised another valid point - where to park? That is half the problem. I see where Carmenes is coming from, but that is what Tesco say whereas in practice it doesn't pan out like that.
From my experience, people will choose Tesco as it is cheaper (not necessarily better). Tesco will, with no doubt about it, kill off the independents on TBR. It will probably even have an effect on Manze's pie and mash as people will opt to get a (cheaper and tasteless) sandwich from Tesco.
Tesco should stick to its core trade of proper supermarkets. I
a) Most households round here don't have a car to need parking (cf 2001 census)
b) Who drives to a Tesco Metro? They're for passing foot traffic. Once you're in your car, you might as well drive to Waitrose.