Sainsbury's confirms Local interest in Brockley

Sainsbury's have confirmed that they have identified Brockley as a possible location for a new Sainsbury's Local store. Sainsbury's Local is the company's convenience store brand and a spokesperson has confirmed that they are considering a number of sites in Brockley, although none is yet confirmed.


For months, BC readers have been speculating that a supermarket chain planned to open in the area. Initially, rumours focused on Tesco being committed to opening at Bridge House on Mantle Road, but this was denied by the landlords. More recently, neighbourhood buzz has focused on Sainsbury's and we have been contacted by readers with rumours about interest in a number of sites around Brockley Cross and Brockley Station.

The news should come as little surprise. Brockley is now on the tube map, its profile has been growing and its demographics changing. It is not only independents like the Broca, The Orchard, Degustation and Brown's of Brockley that have responded, the now-well-stocked wine shelves in Costcutter and the changes in the kinds of brands advertised on local billboards, are proof that big business has recognised the changes afoot.

For the sake of full disclosure, BC should note that in our day job, Sainsbury's is a client and although we have no inside knowledge on the story [reader Catman must be credited with the initial detective work] we will refrain from making further comment on this issue, other than to point out that in 2007 we argued that local businesses could co-exist with the new Tesco on Lewisham Way and that in 2010, we believe this has been borne out.

The Sainsbury's Local press office has agreed to keep us informed should there be any significant updates to the situation.

156 comments:

Anonymous said...

if you had to make an educated guess Nick about the location - where do you think Sainsbury's will go?

Ed said...

Looking forward to a nice mix of chains and indys in the next few years! I wonder which sites they are thinking of though...

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - don't think I should get drawn in to speculation about a client, but it will obviously need to be near Brockley Station.

Anonymous said...

fair enough - you mentioned before that you felt that Bridge house was an inappropriate location due to the bridge and road, do you still think this is the case though?

Brockley Nick said...

Should be noted that in that case I was specifically talking about Tesco operations, not other businesses.

Anonymous said...

Sainsbury's being a completely different animal then. To Tescos that is.

Brockley Nick said...

A bit, yes. My understanding of Tesco is that their lorry delivery patterns for local outlets are quite different from other small supermarkets. They do more frequent deliveries and thus being right next to a low bridge that regularly snares unsuspecting van drivers and on a very narrow road would be especially problematic for them.

Monkeyboy said...

Is the plot occupied by Ajax Flooring on Malpas still available? may be too big, goes back a fair way?

Or Dukes, if they are willing to take on the unique service it provides to the locals and adventurous students looking to dissapoint their parents.

Dr Greenthumb said...

Taste The Difference Marijuana would go down a treat in Brockley. Must be organic though, darlin...

patrick1971 said...

If a bit more competition can encourage the Crofton Park Co-op to do any restocking at all, I would be most grateful. I don't think I've ever been in there and been able to buy everything on my list; they are constantly out of stock of even the most basic items.

Matt-Z said...

Is there a chance they'd take on all the empty units under the tea factory and knock them into one larger store? Parking and deliveries may present a problem there though.

The Cat Man said...

Patrick - do some work :)

Brockley Jon said...

Roll on the Pizza Express. I'm still waiting.

Ed said...

@MB LOL

@MattZ I think the architects and residents that use the east entrance might object and it still wouldn't be big enough...

@BJon American hot please!

Heston said...

Anyone who thinks that Pizza Express offers anything other than homogenized pap needs their heads examining. We live in a fairly interesting area why do you want to fill it with bland chain restaurants?

Anonymous said...

Great news! I'm all for it.

Time to smash the existing crap/mung choice and put something in the middle for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Bridge House looks like a possibility. I saw a Sainsbury's delivery van yesterday and it was low and long rather than tall, so it could easily fit under the bridge. Whether parking would be an issue is another matter.

Anonymous said...

as much As I'm loath to having another supermarket local popping up I'd prefer a sainsbury's to tesco.

You have a huge tesco's in lewisham, then tesco petrol station on lewisham way, a tesco metro on the middle section of lewisham way, another metro on deptford high street and another of creekside. They're like gremlins and suddenly replicate overnight.

I wish the local authority planning depts gave a bit more thought into the impact on neighbourhoods, job creation and and supporting independent stores to flourish. And no they don;t have to be deli's

Node said...

Is there anywhere else it could go other than (if it's ever finished) Bridge House? Think the Brockley Holistics is a bit small...

Anonymous said...

Can't we just demolish Coulgate Street and put an Asda there instead?

The Cat Man said...

ewwwww - isnt that where poor people go? We need the Broca cafe, where else will I get my mung bean latte?

Anonymous said...

mot centre?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Whilst we are on the subject of retail; there is a rumour that the derelict shop on the corner of Tyrwhitt Road is to be auctioned off in the new year.

It is said the sale is being enforced by the Council to pay off the cost of reroofing the building which was done by the local Authority under dangerous building legislation.

East Brockley entrepeneurs you have been alerted.

Anonymous said...

this is good news. not only as a new food shopping retailer, but also as an indication that Brockley is starting to get noticed. What next - Costa?

Brockley Jon said...

@Heston, too right we have some decent choices - I could go on about The Talbot's roast duck breast, The Orchard's pork belly, Babur's lamb shank, Smile's mussamun, Try's manchego & fig, and Meze's amazing er... mezes, but we still lack a reliable pizza place with consistent food and staff, so I think I'm entitled to my one chain wish.

Anonymous said...

I hope that they do move into Bridge House - it would bring welcome light and life to that street and presumably fairly late at night, which would be very welcome.

Paddyom said...

I think a key site which, if redeveloped, would massively improve SE4 is the Royal Mail office. Its a large corner site with irremarkable low-density bland buildings and surely belongs in an industrial estate rather than a retail-led high street. Wish they would level it and put up a nice in-keeping modern retail development.

Back to Sainsburys local and I cant think of anywhere in SE4 large enough to house them on the 'good side' of the tracks. Not familiar with the West Side. Maybe bash the 2/3 empty retail units next to where Cafe Neu used to be into one and trade from there? It has good road frontage on a junction. Anyone any other ideas?

Paddyom said...

Whats going on at La Laterna, anyone in the know?

Anonymous said...

When is waitrose moving to the old royal mail building?

Anonymous said...

Which side is the 'good' side is debatable. I don't regard anywhere near cafe neu as very good.

Anonymous said...

Can I suggest the MOT/ACE van hire site!!!

Sainsbury is welcome, although I rather have a Waitrose.

Blunderbuss said...

Well La Lanterna finally gave a coat of paint (though not a base coat!) to it's bare wooden frontage, after about six months in the elements, ensuring that it'll be warped and rotting and need to be replaced within a year or two...

Anonymous said...

Nothing is confirmed yet so it may not actually happen. Realistically they have to find a suitable location - which may not happen.

Anonymous said...

"Sainsbury's Local is the company's convenience store brand"

I needed to be told that . . .

Anonymous said...

If you want all grocery and convenience stores killed off within a mile radius, then, yes, Sainburys is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

I live westside and would definitely benefit from having a Sainburys somewhere near the station or Brockley Cross. It wouldn't really affect my relationship with local shops though who I only ever use for pints of milk or the odd thing. I'll still use them for those things I need to quickly pop out for.

Anonymous said...

...or if you want to be able to find everything on your shopping list at a good price then it's the way to go. As much as we'd all love to live in our rose tinted village with local producers and suppliers selling quality goods, the reality is that overall supermarkets suite busy people better.

Matt-Z said...

The red paint on the front of La Lanterna is the first bit of action there for months. Is it a sign of imminent reopening, or was it just done to protect the mdf, which was already starting to look ropey?

@ Anon 13:44 - I'm not sure this is an indication of Brockley starting to get noticed. It will have been on their radar for many years. Plenty of poorer, shabbier areas have got metro/local style supermarket outlets long before us. I'd suggest that now there are plenty of new developments underway/planned the supermarket(s) are striking while they can, when decent retail units become available, and before the competition gets in.

Ed said...

Considering some of the poor decisions made by LaLa regarding the frontage (old and new) I wouldn't be surprised if they never reopen. I've not had the opportunity to have my prejudices shattered with an amazing Italian meal but the place looks, and has always looked, like a joke.

@Heston. Pizza Express started as a single restaurant in London in the sixties and whilst they are now ubiquitous they provide good food and service at a reasonable cost. A restaurant like La Querce would be equally welcome however.

This self-determination issue is most amusing; perhaps those arguing that the area should not lose its working class bohemian character should remember that Brockley as we know it was originally settled by wealthy traders so where do you draw your line?

It's all about choice and quality.

Anonymous said...

Good point Matt-Z. They may just be striking while they have the chance or forever lose the space to a ............(insert your own) (bookies..)

Heston said...

@Brockley Jon

You can name all the local joints you like but that still doesn't stop Pizza Express from being an ubiquitous carbunkle. MacDonalds serves consistent food, doesn't mean it's any good.

Try Franco Manca in Brixton, or more locally the pizzas at The Gowlett in Peckham. These are the sort of pizzas we should be aiming for...

max said...

Even more locally there's excellent pizza in Catford, just under Eros House.

Brockley Ben said...

Mixed feelings about Sainsbury's. Better than Tesco IMHO but I do slightly worry that it's the thin end of the wedge. Having just had a blinding coffee in Browns and witnessed a new member of staff being shown how to product something similar with real care and passion I'd rather Costa or *shudder* Starbucks weren't sniffing around any time soon.

I also question whether a Sainsbury's local would offer a lot that can't be found in Costcutter or the Londis franchise at the end of Endwell Road. Maybe a bit, but not much.

And Jon: Le Querce pizzas not doing it for you?

Anonymous said...

This news is big. The first big national retailer to sniff around Brockley Cross. Finally. Wow - we've made a fuss of deli's opening in the past, etc but if this happens it will be even more significant.

Ed said...

The market will decide what succeeds, as it has for Pizza Express. People must like bad pizza Heston, alternatively you are being contrary and/or ignorant.

Paul said...

I think it's a positive move. It would give other retailers confidence to open up in Brockley, and we'd have a company that has the means to keep themselves going.

Node said...

If this is indeed destined for Bridge House I think this could only be bad news for the small shops on the west side.

Unlike Lewisham Way which has lots of passing traffic and a huge footfall, the west side simply does not. Yes Mantle Rd always looks busy in rush hour but that's partly because of the horrendous junction onto Endwell Rd. There are two corner shop style newsagents, three mini marts and the Broca within 5 minutes of my front door I doubt all these could survive if a major national supermarket moved in on their doorstep.

Anonymous said...

Could the press office explain the very popular Sainsbury Local that was in Lewisham was closed?

Would a site for the store need to be subsidised by flats?

Tamsin said...

Well, there could well be places available for them to open into. Fine to say how nice to have something in the middle between the delis and the costcutters - but then both could suffer. And the landlords will look to raise rents. Lose, lose all round.

One just has to look at the independents that closed along New Cross Road and in Hatcham when the main store opened in New Cross 15 years ago. In my personal view it is too high a price to pay for a little bit more choice.

Tamsin said...

Sorry that last referred back to Paul saying other retailers would be encouraged to open.

Brockley Jon said...

@Ben, I would be able to find out if it wasn't always shut! (well, ok, both times I've been down recently ;)

drakefell debaser said...

I am not convinced we need a Sainsbury's in Brockley because our perimeter is well served by them and others - the West already has a huge Sainsbury’s down in New Cross and in the East there are 2 x Tesco Metro’s with a humongous one further down in Lewisham.

If these are still not convenient then why not order online. You still get your Nectar points and a pleasant man will drop it off to you when you want.

I understand the argument for a big store opening and boosting confidence in the area so others can follow but what big chain giveth, it may also taketh away and I am more concerned about what we lose than what we gain by this.

Paul said...

I understand the point that existing businesses in the area face competition if a national retailer were to move in. However, I see the amount of empty retail units around the station at the moment. I think having a Sainsbury's would encourage footfall down Mantle Road (if this is where it is to go) and that would be a good thing for other shops along that stretch currently, only Bohemia)

Brockley Jon said...

Oh and thanks for the other pizza place tips guys, I will track them down. I don't make a habit of liking any old homogenized pap but do like the Pizza Express package. Sane surroundings, decent but cheapish (2-for-1) eats and drinks.https://www.blogger.com/img/cmt/close.gif

Heston said...

@Ed

Yes I'm well aware of the history of Pizza Express, most chains do start off with one outlet.

Apparently because I don't like Pizza Express I'm ignorant?! You must be good value at parties... 'He was so ignorant he didn't even like Pizza Express, can you imagine?'

Next you'll be telling me how soothing the decor in Subway is...

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I anticipate a flood of Sainsbury's Locals in the area to cover them when (or if?) the New Cross branch is redeveloped.

Anonymous said...

Lay off Subway Heston, Okay?

Brockley Nick said...

Anon 1439: sorry to interrupt your busy schedule with a superfluous bit of information. I hope you've made up the time since.

Ed said...

@Heston. Did you make the common mistake of assuming that ignorance is synonymous with stupidity? I suspect that leaves you even worse off than before.

Your comments reveal your ignorance of when a human's head should be examined, how to spell carbuncle and where Brockley is for starters.

Don't shoot the messenger old boy!

Matt-Z said...

@TM - will the New Cross Gate Sainsbury's redevelopment mean the store actually closes? Most supermarket refurbs/enlargements etc manage to carry on with the store open in as normal fashion as possible.

Ed said...

@Nick. What is the argument for allowing Anons to post again?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This blog would be nuffink wivout me. I make it wot it is.

Anonymous said...

Sainsburys Local is about to open in Greenwich, opposite the old Town Hall
and 30 paces from the Co-Op, in the same square/carpark. A triumph.

Heston said...

@Ed

No I did not make the 'common mistake' of not knowing what ignorant means.

I understand it to mean unenlightened. As in 'He was so unenlightened he didn't even want to have his wedding reception at Pizza Express.'

As for not knowing where Brockley is, I've lived here for 10 years so I probably know it a great deal better than you. For example I remember a squat party at the Tea Factory, and probably did a big piss right where your bed is.

Tamsin said...

@ Paul. Isn't the essence of a Sainsbury's local - and the Tesco equivalent - that they are somewhere you call in on your way to or from the station for a commute, or popping out because you have run out of milk or something, rather than a place you go to specially, as an additonal journey? That is the big stores for the weekly "supermarket shop" or to a shopping mall for a bit of "retail therapy" or to look for a presents or new clothes or something.

So a Sainsbury's local would not, I would have thought, increase the footfall anywhere. It simply sets up in competition to the existing shops - both up-market and down-market from itself - and, by undercutting on price and admin. overheads, will drive them out of business, reducing the choice available to the consumer.

I would be prepared to be convinced otherwise, but only on the basis of research not funded by the supermarkets themselves or those with an overt or covert interest in such new developments. The retail impact report (or whatever it was called) on the New Cross Gate Sainsbury's when it was first proposed said there would be no effect on the existing retail outlets, hardly surprising since it was produced by the developers, but I know of at least three shops that closed, and one where I knew the owner he told me that it was as a direct result of Sainsbury's.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there were any wealthy traders living the other side of the tracks.

THNick said...

Heston/Jon, if you want good pizza in Brockley (well Nunhead, but Nick has annexed it in the past) then try costa smerelda. They even deliver, at least to TH.

http://www.google.co.uk/maps/place?cid=2958164860880758449&q=costa+smeralda+nunhead&fb=1&gl=uk&hq=costa+smeralda&hnear=Nunhead,+Greater+London&dtab=2&ei=7LwHTe-6HcKj8QPYy5w5&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCAQqgUwAA

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Ladywell is technically in Brockley and I remember seeing plans for a redevelopment where the two giant billboards stand outside the bus station. Another great pass through.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could persude the good people at M&S to open a Simply Food store. it would save me driving into Blackheath standard every Saturday for my dine in for a tenner.

Anonymous said...

there is an m&s in lewisham so i take it ur trip to blackheath is a snobby one

Anonymous said...

what all u people dont know is that brockley had a butchers and greengrocers, crofton park had a fishmongers and a bakers and a greengrocer and a butchers. All were driven out by supermarkets. u ask for progress and u will get it.

Ed said...

@Heston

Such irony.

It doesn't but nice turn of phrase.

All part of the rich history of a formerly unspecial building.

Anonymous said...

pizza fight!

Anonymous said...

The range in M&S lewisham not as good as blackheath. Not a snobby decision. I think the demographics of the lewisham store dictate the choice.

Tamsin said...

M&S food anywhere is over-priced, over-packaged and irritatingly over-advertised.

Anonymous said...

Heston.

I think Pizza Express is one of the best Pizza chains, I prefer it to Ask or Strada and (shudder)Pizza Hut! If you want a posher chain then Prezzo is pretty good they have nice oak fired ovens. I have been to other independent Italians before with, frankly, variable results.

quick brown fox said...

I've only been in a couple of Sainsbury Locals but based on those I struggle to see what benefit we would derive from having one in Brockley. What would they offer that Costcutter doesn't already offer, other than maybe a small selection of own brand ready meals?

Anonymous said...

@Anonimous 22.25

What you describe is simply not correct. On Crouch End high street there is a Budgens, a Sainsbury and a Waitrose local. There are also Cafe Nero and Starbucks. However there are a number of local Cafes and restaurants as well as a fishmonger, a fantastic baker, meat shop etc etc etc

The principle of a shopping center is that it is a convenient place were people go for their food shopping. Saisbury Locals are not good for those products, this is why around them in North London shops cluster around them.

Bet Fred said...

Pizza Hut is that good, they closed the one in Lewisham to open a Bookies.

Anonymous said...

You can't beat the deals from Dominic's when you've got a hangover. Medium pizza, chicken, garlic bread and a drink for under a tenner.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

The Pizza Hut Takeaway/Delivery in Lewisham Way seems to do good business. Usually a queue in there.

Is it me or do take away Pizzas seem very expensive when compared to the cook at home supermarket ones?

Fat Albert said...

A tenner? You could save yourself £9 by drinking a bottle of cooking oil instead.

Anonymous said...

What a stupid comment.

Fat Albert said...

Don't knock it until you've tried it.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Good steady commenting. If we apply ourselves we could be on for a century.

Fine example to set our batsmen out in Perth - Oz version of course not the Scottish one.

Ramble said...

East Dulwich is another good example. Co-op, Budgens, Iceland, costa coffee, massive sainsburies just up the road and the independent places still do great with loads of small cafes, shops, fishmongers and butchers.

Anonymous said...

GREAT NEWS! no car rides to greenwich of new cross anymore. Costcutter useless for everyday food and customer service is rubbish!

Brockley Newbie said...

@Brockley Jon, where's Try's? Machego & Fig sounds amazing.

Node said...

@Ramble

East Dulwich is a lot richer and has more of a high street thus drawing in people from the surrounding area. Brockley does not have either of those. So the local shops will definitely be negatively affected...

Dabvi said...

I can't believe how stupified people are being about this. People just love to have a bright shiny shop to point at and coo don't they.

Yes I go to Sainsbury's in New Cross. But we really don't need one here. Most things can be bought locally.

A national supermarket chain would offer nothing but a few own brand products and even then not many judging by Tesco Lewisham Way, which mostly have the more expensive brands rather than own label stuff.

Wake up people.

Mezzer said...

Newbie: I think it must be this:

http://brockleycentral.blogspot.com/2010/09/fat-bitch-at-try-tapas.html

Brockley Jon said...

@Mezzer and Newbie, yep, that's right. I wrote about it a while ago here, but it's now under new management with a new name. Same great food though.

Anonymous said...

@Node - following your argument if you have more shops on the highstreet then people will come. This is exactly what we say. If Brockley Common and Cross had a number of nice shops where you can buy from supermarkets and independents then people will start to consider Brockley as a shopping alternative.

@Davbi - interesting you think we can buy everything locally at the moment. I am not sure why I continue to go to New Cross for food. Can you please tell me where? Is it at the Barge, the Holistic Center or Jules?

The idea of preferring closed and run down shops because the big chains are evil is really dated and South East London.

Another example? Wimbledon, Kilburn...

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Wimbledon. Used to...

drakefell debaser said...

New Cross is pretty local, no?

Nylon said...

Err wait, isn't the real issue here nicks assertion that there is a good choice of wine in Costcutter?
there may be a lot, but I'd choose Degustation's reasonably priced yet limited range any day. Costcutter ONLY contains varieties of Chardonnay and big label ones at that.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Oh no! Our game of blog comment cricket could be derailed by a shopping bag thread.

And only three short of a century!

Two now.

C Shop said...

True Dabvi,most Tesco Express shops have very few own brand foods,and are no cheaper than your local corner shop,people just think they are getting a bargain because its Tesco's.

Matt-Z said...

Indeed. The Tesco garage store on Loampit Vale is really expensive.

Bearded Wonder said...

101 not out

TJ(O) said...

"Anonymous said...
I don't think there were any wealthy traders living the other side of the tracks.

14 December 2010 18:35"

You'd be wrong then - there a quite a few in the streets around Hilly Fields

Brockley Nick said...

@Nylon - at last a post I don't have to bite my tongue about! I will always go to Degustation for wine, when it's open. But us late night alcoholics appreciate the flexibility offered by Costcutter. And I think you do it a disservice. Look again. In the last year or so, they've definitely "gentrified" their wine list.

Matt-Z said...

Call yourself a late night alcoholic? What time does Costcutter close, 9.00, 9.30? Pah, that's amateur drinking hours.

Anonymous said...

@TJ: Hillyfields is the right side of the tracks. Duh.

King Lash said...

Unless you just bought 6 tins and half a bottle of Capt Morgan at Dukes then you don't know the meaning of late night alcoholic...

Anonymous said...

Nick's right about the costcutter wine but there's still far too much student/benefits shelf space...

TRM said...

Try Peter James butchers, Ewhurst Road - just discovered it... who needs Sainsburys when we have shops like that.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

But will it effect House prices?

TJ(O) said...

@TJ: Hillyfields is the right side of the tracks. Duh

Anon - I read 'other' as 'either' - Duh Duh Duh indeed! Time for Christmas break

Anonymous said...

I don't think a Sainsbury's would be good for Brockley. It would probably mean the closure of 3 or 4 smaller supermarket type stores in the area.

A Pizza Express would close down the indepepndent Italian pizza restaurant in Brockley. How would that be good?

Keep Brockley free from chain stores!!!!

Brockley Nick said...

What independent pizza restaurant in Brockley? There isn't one. The Pizza Hut takeaway service is about as close as it gets.

Brockley is not free from chains - we have Whetherspoons, Costcutter, Budgens, Co-Op, Barclays, Tesco and a tonne of bookie chains.

Brockley Nick said...

Sorry: Wetherspoons

Punter said...

Anon probably means Le Querce.

Don't forget our small artisan bookie Portland. A chain of two I believe.

Brockley Nick said...

Le Querce would never be threatened by Pizza Express. In fact, they moved IN to Blackheath Village, which already has a Pizza Express. Completely different businesses.

The bigger point is that these places can be complementary. The Orchard didn't put Toads Mouth out of business. Browns hasn't put the Broca out of business. They create more local options, which encourage people to spend more time and money locally, rather than thinking about going elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

okay Capitalists let's destroy Brockley...come on chains stores come on McDonalds...come on Burger King...come on huge mega stores do your worst...mwah ha ha ha ha!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Browns hasn't put the Broca out of business."

They haven't been there long enough to know for certain.

"The Orchard didn't put Toads Mouth out of business."

How do we know how long The Orchard is going to last?

Anyway neither The Orchard or Browns or The Broca or the Toads Mouth are chains...

I'm not against competition just chains.

Anonymous said...

"Le Querce would never be threatened by Pizza Express. In fact, they moved IN to Blackheath Village, which already has a Pizza Express."

errr do you actually realise the average income in Blackheath???

Surely about 5 times the average income in Brockley.

That difference is bound to mean something.

Anonymous said...

FYI Wetherspoons is having a pretty big impact on other local pubs (who cant compete with their cheap beer) and may possibly lead to one eventually closing down.

Monkeyboy said...

Why would chain automatically be a bad thing? Would two shops be a chain? Is the broca and it's shop a chain? Do androids dream of electric sheep? Has anyone seen my car keys?

Anonymous said...

"Why would chain automatically be a bad thing?"

Because time and time again history has shown us that chains eventually put small independent stores out of business.

And no, Brocas 2 local stores does not make it a chain.

Monkeyboy said...

So at what point do shops owned by one person become a chain? 2, 5, 50? Is it just numbers or is some other property? You need to be more precise in exactly what your argument is. When all is said and done, shops are primarily there to seek stuff that people want at a price they find acceptable. I like independent stores but at the same time I don't see chain stores as evil incarnate.

Mb said...

*sell stuff I meant to say.

where is Hugh? said...

I miss Hugh

Anonymous said...

Monkeyboy...surely I don't need to give you a lesson in economics.

Chains use economies of scale to put smaller business out of business and by dominating the markets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_store

Joni said...

Not only that but chain store stamp their identity on an area. In Brockley right now most of the store feel of Brockley, whether by the sheer length of time they've been around, their names, their kookiness.

I just wish that people that moved here would love the place for what it is rather hankering after this place being East Dulwich lite.
We want good reliable places to eat but we do not NEED chains.

Monkeyboy said...

And chains are always a malign force? You've described bad practice and linked to an article that describes chains and says that some people think theyre bad. It's a given is it? How big is too big? What about the franchise operations that cost cutter and numerous small corner shops are a part off? Are they evil exploiters? Genuine question. I doubt I could afford to shop in the small independents nor have the time to do so.

Monkeyboy said...

And chains are always a malign force? You've described bad practice and linked to an article that describes chains and says that some people think theyre bad. It's a given is it? How big is too big? What about the franchise operations that cost cutter and numerous small corner shops are a part off? Are they evil exploiters? Genuine question. I doubt I could afford to shop in the small independents nor have the time to do so.

Tamsin said...

The current fact of life is that many people do not do most of their shopping in small independents - but go (by car if they have one) to a big supermarket chain - Sainsbury's in New Cross Gate or Dog Kennel Hill, Tesco in Lewisham, Asda on the Old Kent Road - for the variety and price and BOGOF deals they offer.

Many specialist indepdents closed everywhere as these supermarket chains (and these are what one means by chains) opened and people's shopping habits fundamentally changed post war with home refrigeration, more women in work and the weekly supermarket run rather than the daily marketing.

Some independents - many operated under the aegis of franchises like Cost-cutter and Londis - survived since they offered convenience and also longer opening hours.

The supermarket chains - the two biggest in cut-throat competition with each other - could not leave things in the balance that they were in ten to 15 years ago and first extended their hours - so if you're close enough or it's on your way home you can "pop-in" for last minute supplies (they way you used to do at the corner shop). As the next step (again primarily in competition with each other)for the past five years or so they have been setting up small stores to be more conveniently close to the customers. In fact thhese offer no more variety and are (per the posts above) no cheaper than the independents but do have the advantage of people associating the brand with big supermarket concepts of variety and value and so are a commercial success.

It is this last development this is in issue here and will affect the independents across the range from Costcutter to Degustation.
Sainsbury's are not being particularly malign but Brockley's present variety of shops are at risk of being trampled in its endless battle against Tescos.

Anonymous said...

"The current fact of life is"

can you give concrete evidence of that or is it just something you thought up yourself?

Tamsin said...

No, to be honest, I can't. It is what I have absorbed from various documentaries over the years, what I extrapolate from what I do myself and what I deduce from looking at fellow shoppers (and their baskets) in both indepedents and the supermarket. But I would be very surprised if I was totally wrong.

Opportunist Tesco, by the way, is even now advertising on weather.co.uk saying "Snowy Christmas? Don't Worry. No need to run out. Just nip out to Tesco Express." With a big red button to press to "Find your nearest store" and their huggy feely tag line "Every little helps". If that is not aimed at undermining the traditional corner shope and local independent/franchise supermarket I don't know what is. The annoying thing is that they might actually succeed in attracting those who are reassured by the Tesco brand, haven't used their local shops before or don't even know where they are.

Brockley Nick said...

Why do you keep referring to Costcutter as an independent? (it isn't).

Is it because it has been here a long time and therefore doesn't fit your theories.

Joni said...

We need Sainsburys in Brockley like we need a Fox News in the UK.

Anonymous said...

The idea that chains = bad and indpenents = good needs to be left in 2008 where it belongs, along with bags for life, carbon offsetting and ethically traded organic lattes.

Monkeyboy said...

Ahhhh.... Brainless rhetoric and simplistic dogmatism. No wonder we get the politicians we deserve. I like small independents if they provide something that the supermarkets don't or can't but I do most of my shopping at the supermarket for the convinience. Who's with me?

Tamsin said...

@ Nick - I agree, but I never said they were - they are a franchise and so halfway between the "true" idependents (if you like) - the Broca and Shop on the Hill - and the likes of Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda. They are, though, for the most part, family run businesses and I would rather not have Sainsburys encouraged to come in and put them out of business - or make life harder for them - for no real benefit for the community (other people have said that the big chain locals offer neither the value or variety of the main stores) but just in pursuit of their endless struggle with Tesco.

Tamsin said...

@ Monkeyboy. Yes, same here. Supermarkets for the convenience and value - just come back from Sainsburys with a trolleyload. But let the supermarkets stay like that. Don't have them muscling in on the cornershop/local shop market which they are blatently trying to do.

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin "They are a franchise and so halfway between the "true" idependents (if you like) - the Broca and Shop on the Hill - and the likes of Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda."

Ludicrous. McDonald's also operates a franchise model - does that make them "halfway" to being a local independent restaurant. If you accept Costcutter's place on the high street (and the fact that it can co-exist with independents) then you must accept others. The only reason you are trying to draw these silly distinctions is because Costcutter has been around a long time and therefore represents the status quo.

Tamsin said...

But isn't there a slightly different moral feel to Londis and Costcutters and whatever the pharmacy franchise is that crops up regularly (where essentially local small businesses buy into a marketing assistance, a supplier of bags and equipment and a business model but retain a signficant degree of independence about what they stock and how they price things for their individual client base) and the two mega-big supermarket chains (who have covered the countryside with their out of town stores providing a good service to those able to reach them but putting the skids under many village shops)now moving in on the urban convenience store market?

I stick by the contention that Brockley - or any small local hub - does not "need" a Sainsburys or Tesco local.

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin - "But isn't there a slightly different moral feel to Londis and Costcutters..."

No, there isn't. I don't see the moral dimension at all. McDonald's is a franchise, Pizza Express is a franchise, etc.

"I stick by the contention that Brockley - or any small local hub - does not "need" a Sainsburys or Tesco local."

Whoever said it did?

Joni said...

If a Sainsbury's came here what would it bring to the community? What would it add that we don't already have?
For me they'll get a lot more out of it than Brockley as a community would. The prices aren't cheaper at Sainsbury's express and range is generally smaller we'll probably get more cars driving over to it.

I don't want change for the sake of it, I want improvement for Brockley and Sainsbury's doesn't represent that given the way this area in improving organically (if you pardon the pun) by people who live in the area, understand and love area.

Tamsin said...

@ Nick - Para one - Fair enough, it is a debatble point (which I put as a question rather than an assertion) on which different people will have different views and reactions.

Para two - Quite a lot of people posting on this thread who say it would benefit the area.

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin - it's not a debatable point unless someone can explain what they think the moral difference is. You haven't and you're the only one who's tried to make the distinction.

On the second point - there is a big difference between someone saying that it would be of benefit and someone saying that the area "needs" it. I'm staying neutral on the "benefit" point, but a simple benefit might be that someone prefers shopping in Sainsbury's compared with Costcutters or that they think it would be good for someone to take up one of the empty retail units in the area. Only the "antis" are using the "need" argument - no-one who is positive about the news has said "we need this".

So far, your argument has amounted to little more than you prefer Costcutters - others are saying that they prefer Sainsbury's. The difference is that the latter group aren't pretending they have morality on their side.

shackleton said...

tamsin u've just come back from doing a huge shop at a huge supermarket and now u're complaining that the same chain is going to open close to u where it won't force people to drive their cars to reach them, won't need a massive car park right in the middle of the community, won't have the size to offer the specialist ranges to compete with the independents in the area. u make no sense.

Anonymous said...

Support independent doggers, chain-doggings just aren't the same!

Tamsin said...

It is debatable because we are debating it ;o) or at least I am trying to. I am not happy with the use the big supermarkets make of their purchasing power. OK such documentaries need to be viewed with a bit of scepticism but I recall images of fruit-growers nearly in tears because they had been effectively forced to grub up whole orchards on the whim of supermarket chain that had a hammer-lock on them. There is also the element of duplicity of the retail report commissioned by Sainsburys before the NXG store was built saying there would be no detrimental effect and at least three small shops that I used to use closing, one of whom I know attributed his plight to the opening of the new store.

Given their organisation size and commercial clout it is almost inevitable that they will undercut the equivalent shops that already exist and provide the same service with the risk that some will be put out of business. So less choice for the customers. It's not a level playing field.

Anonymous said...

This is like a lesson in supply and demand, but other than that I'm not sure what the point being made is.

I prefer S to T said...

To introduce a new angle, I think that having the same stores across London in rich and poor areas is beneficial. Homogenising things, if you like. It means that the life experience of someone in a terrible area is similar - vis a vis food shopping at least - to that of someone in SW1. This is a good thing. It normalises lives and without getting too philosophical about food shopping and tins of beans/fishfingers/whatever, it bridges what would otherwise be a gap.

Presumably major chains do not look at things like this - and why should they? they have shareholders who have invested in them to make money so they look at profts, fair enough - so it is fortunate that in this instance their financial interests coincide with my point.

Separately, from my perspective as a greedy guts, I much prefer Sainsbury's product to those of Tesco - marginally dearer but infinitely better quality, especially meats and hams - but I currently spend a small fortune in Tesco. If a SLocal opened, I'd get used to Sainsburys prodcts again and probably end up going to their big store for my major shop too, so they'd actually do very well indeed out of my household....

The only question is where the shop would go? Where CC is now perhaps? Bliss.....and a big thank you to the property dept of Sainsburys.

There goes the neighbourhood said...

Tamsin, I have some sympathy with your position, but as you will be well aware, what you describe is simply market forces at work. The vast majority of people couldn't give two hoots about major supermarkets bullying their suppliers, all they care about is getting their groceries cheap. It's very hard to protect "local" shops, not least because of the practical difficulties of defining and ring-fencing them as a category.

Anonymous said...

@ Tyrwhitt Michael - please would you provide more details of rumour? If it's going to auction - how do we find out who/ when and how? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Can people please stop saying that we don't have a good pizza place? Dominic's do great pizza, our family love them.

REG said...

Only just noticed this thread on a Sainsbury's. We don't need them. The one on New Cross is enough. What we do need is a Waitrose or M&S.

thisisengland said...

'What we do need is Waitrose or M&S...'

No we don't.
Aaaarrrggghhh!

Mb said...

All we need is love.

REG said...

No more Sainsbury's! WAITROSE... M&S. YES! YES! YES!

Anonymous said...

St Cyprians Hall on Brockley Road opp Adelaide Ave is huge - 5000ft2. Plans have been submitted to develop it into a vast restaurant space but I can't see Brockley sustaining an eatery of that capacity and nor could the planning officer at a meeting for residents a few weeks back. So I reckon that could be one of the potential supermarket sites.

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