I have not been there yet, but as I work long unsocial hours somedays, the idea of popping around the corner and buying say a piece of steak/chicken is good news, I can wander down New kent rd. and get fresh fruit and veg.from the little store. It's the butchers that seem to be disappearing, cant't even get fresh tripe or cowheel easily now days..:-( or ox liver!
Blimey, what a lot of negativity about M&S food! I don't think it's going to be compulsory to shop there, eh. Also it's not as if they're replacing an organic, SE1-produced, Fairtrade community co-operative. And I'm not sure that M&S are single-handedly responsible for the gentrification of Elephant & Castle?
We have the joy of living in a free and diverse society. M&S wouldn't have a whole chain of shops already, and wouldn't be opening this one, if there weren't millions of people who regularly choose to shop there. For me it's too expensive for regular shopping, but I enjoy the occasional treat of things that are more complicated than I would bother to prepare for myself. M&S do do really nice ready meals and puddings.
Ditto with the little packages of chopped fruit at Sainsburys - surely your real complaint is with your fellow shoppers, who like to buy them, rather than with Sainsburys who cater to that demand. Myself, I'm quite partial to their little packets of chopped coconut, not having the appetite for a whole one!
Live and let live, I say.
Perhaps this all makes me so unacceptably middle class that you'd rather I moved somewhere else?
Personally I live about 5 minutes walk around the corner and will not object to anything that adds variety into the area. I don't cook once in a blue moon but it's handy to know that I can get something instant(ish) if I'm out of food. I'll probably use it occasionaly and so long as the likes of Lidl and the cheap markets down the Old Kent Road are still going to be around (which I expect they will - few people eat nothing but M&S) I'm quite happy.
The only thing I think we need in the area we're really missing now is a proper 24 hour shop and a decent supermarket that doesn't hike its prices because of it's smaller size. The garage was always only somewhere I'd go in the daytime.