Tesco “invasion” must be stopped

Tesco ExpressPlans to open at least two new Tesco Express stores in Weston-super-Mare have been condemned by the town’s Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Mike Bell as he launched a new campaign to stop what he described as an “invasion” by Tesco.

Tesco are currently seeking planning consents to open a new store at 10 Boulevard and at Whitecross Garage on the junction of Whitecross Road and Severn Road in the town. The two new stores will sit alongside existing Tesco Express stores at Oldmixon and Locking Castle and the main Tesco store in the town centre.

Mike Bell said: “This is nothing short of an invasion by Tesco who seem intent on driving out all competition and turning Weston into a Tesco Town. The proposed new stores – in the Boulevard, adjacent to an existing Martin McColl store and in Severn Road, close to the Co-Op store – seem to have been deliberately chosen to directly impact on existing retailers.

“You can only draw the conclusion that their interest lies not in serving the local community, but more in grabbing more of the local market by forcing independent traders out of business. This will result in less choice locally and could well discourage new businesses from opening up in the area.

“Independent shops are the glue that hold communities together. Independent newsagents, grocers, convenience or specialist shops are often family run businesses and when they have to close down it is not only the loss of that family’s livelihood at stake, but the loss of local employment and a local amenity as well as a blow to the community identity.

“With a large store in the town centre and two Tesco Express outlets already, these two new developments are unwarranted, unwanted and will have a dramatic negative impact on a number of local businesses. They must be stopped.”

Mr Bell has written to North Somerset Council urging them as planning authority to resist the applications for new Tesco Stores. He has also written to the Chief Executive of Tesco, Sir Terry Leahy, asking what consultation the firm has undertaken with the local community to establish a need for these stores in the town.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Mary Annegarn said,

    Both sites for the proposed new Tesco Express stores in Weston-super-Mare are less than a mile from, and within easy walking distance of the main Tesco store in the centre of town, so why are they needed?

    Anyone choosing to shop at Tesco would have a much greater choice at the larger town centre store, so why would they bother shopping at a Tesco Express?

    Neither of the proposed areas are lacking in shops for grocery shopping, so it is not necessary to have a new Tesco convenience store there.

    I regularly use the local shops in Whitecross Road. It is a thriving local community with a local co-op and independent shops – butcher, baker, greengrocer, chemist, newsagent, florist and more, offering local produce, of excellent quality at reasonable prices without the excess packaging found in Tesco. The queues are far shorter than in Tesco and you are always greeted with a friendly smile. It is possible to buy all the groceries you need there without going into the town centre.

    Anyone who likes to have a choice of where they can shop, cares about their carbon footprint and local employment for local people should say “No” to Tesco, before it is too late.

    I am not anti Tesco, I do use their main town store. However, if they want to expand, perhaps they should consider putting Tesco Expresses in rural villages which no longer have a shop or are about to loose the Post Office which is the only shop they have.


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