New Cross Sainsbury's Local opening soon

The long-mooted Sainsbury's Local on Lewisham Way is currently being fitted out and will be opening shortly.

Sited opposite Goldsmiths UOL in a unit that has lain empty for years, it attracted some (in BC's view, misguided) local opposition when the application was submitted.

Full disclosure: Sainsbury's is a client of our employer.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Now we just need one in Brockley Cross... gagging for a decent supermarket up near the station.

Anonymous said...

New Cross high street looks pretty dreadful. I would much rather see Sainsburys trading there than another derelict unit. Hopefully this rejuvenation extends to other nearby neglected commercial units.

mb said...

I'm on the fence about the "at what point does a chain of convinence stores become a rapacious corporate giant?" question. Leaving that to one side, the Nisa is actually quiet good and is just unsucessful enough as a chain to keep the antis happy.

It's the supermarket that unites.

BreakspearsEagle said...

There is a difference between a franchise operation such as Nisa, Budgens and Costcutter and a big supermarket like Sainsbury's and Tescos.

In a franchise the people who run the store actually own the building/lease. They buy the goods from a central buying group (Nisa etc) and use the branding but they are still individually owned and run (and therefore the profits are kept locally).

I'm not anti big supermarkets at all but for people who are there is definitely a difference, which does seem to be understood or recognised on here.

The people who own the Costcutter store could easily change it to a Nisa or Budgens if they thought that they could get a better deal/product selection from a different partner.

kolp said...

I like this in one respect...that is not another ruddy Tesco Express. I have never seen such a rapid expansion of business like this.
It's like London has been clustered bombed by Tesco.

It's as if no new lowish budget development can built unless a Tesco Express is part of the deal.

In about 20 years i suspect the independent corner/convenience will be a thing of memory.

Mb said...

Profits kept locally? How so? Nisa will still take a large chunk. If you mean the manager and assistants, well how is that different to paying mangers and assistants at supermarkets?I still don't think there is a great moral or ethical difference between the two and they are not forcing shopping habits down an unwilling publics throat. In addition, I wonder how well the tiny convenience stores pay and how well they treat their employees compared to the big guys? Holidays? Pensions?

I'm not flying the flag for the big guys but the hysteria about them seems a little too easy. I wouldn't want to live somewhere without access to a supermarket, it would cost too much to eat. I'm sure those on low incomes would agree.

Anonymous said...

I guess another developers dream has come true: sit on a property for years until a supermarket buys you out.

Given the general dereliction of that corner and its unhealthy location at a busy junction.

It seems an appropriate use and I am sure all the students in the flats around there will find it convenient.

C.R.E.A.M. said...

I hope they're installing a cashpoint; they're a little sparse around New Cross (particularly after the station has closed for the evening).

BreakspearsEagle said...

Nisa operates as a cooperative so the profits it makes go back to the owners:

'Nisa reported a record turnover of £1.58bn and paid a record £4.9m dividend to members.'

Costcutter is owned privately but the profit margins are tiny compared to the big supermarkets because most of the proft stays with the people who actually run the stores.

Yes these people are local (eg Jay from Jay's Budgens)

Lou Baker said...


You're making the rather unfortunate assumption that there are profits to keep in the local area.

Many little local stores are scuzzy for a reason: they don't make enough money to clean up their act.

And far be it from me to agree with MB but his comments on holidays, pensions etc are spot on.

BreakspearsEagle said...

I'm not making that assumption. I am just saying there is a difference between the two models which wasn't recognised by MB's first post.

A shop like Costcutter is set up by an entrepeneur (just like Maggi's gifts or Gently Elephant).

The only difference is that it is in an industry where you have to join a buying group (eg Nisa) to have the scale to negotiate with big companies like Unilever and Nestle.

I don't have a comment on holidays and pensions because I don't know any of the details - do you?

mb said...

@BE, no i don't know but theres an assumption that all little stores are plucky underdogs commited to serving the local community. They should be allowed to compete without sharp practice from the big guys, they could even be given a little extra help (within reason) but small=good, big=bad for locals and staff for both a healthy highstreet and affordable food at a time that suits those who live here? im not conmvinced the venn diagram foloows that easy categorisation. My excellent little local newsagent was hapilly selling some low price super strong cider to the local drunk the other day, it wasnt helping the locals or infact the alcohol dependant wretch. Im not making a particular point other than to say that you cannot genralise about a particular model. You need to look at particular practice in a particular context.

Mezzer said...

The main point here surely, is that there is a big Sainsburys 3 mins down the road. The purpose of this one is to mop up the stray trade that won't walk that far. How can that not be bad for the small shops inbetween?

Brockley Nick said...

"The main point here surely, is that there is a big Sainsburys 3 mins down the road. The purpose of this one is to mop up the stray trade that won't walk that far."

I suspect that this was pre-emptive, to stop A N Other supermarket (eg: Tesco) making the same move on to the high street - people don't want to walk all the way across that vast car park and trawl massive aisles for a bit of convenience shopping. That creates an opportunity, which another supermarket brand might have seized on.

"How can that not be bad for the small shops inbetween?"

Because a) they may not really competing for the same customers. b) more people may choose to shop locally as a result of this shop - popping in to other places as a result. c) vacant units are bad for every other business in the area, sending a signal of decline and neglect. Full units suggest prosperity and safety.

If there was not a Costcutter on Brockley Road, I would visit Sounds Around and Degustation less often, spending less money with those businesses. I would not use the newsagent next door as an alternative.

Anonymous said...

And the presence of a major retailer is, to an extent, an endorsement of that stretch of street / area as a retail destination. None of the successful high streets full of independent retailers that I can think of (e.g. Wimbledon Village, Marylebone High Street) object to the presence of a Tesco, Sainsbury's, etc.

These chain convenience stores have their place. Independent retailers such as The Allotment should be able to adequately differentiate themselves through their product / service offering (rather than on price) and attract customers. I doubt people would be especially worried for Brown's or the Broca if Starbucks moved in. If independent businesses are good enough, they will survive. Why should a dearth of better options be the only reason that sub-par local shops succeed?

Anonymous said...

Having this is definitely a good thing. It means other shops selling similar stuff are forced into cleaning up their act a bit. And it will attract other businesses that we can all benefit from.

Anonymous said...

Edit to my 15 October 2012 14:30 post...

"suffer from" is probably more accurate than "object to".

Anonymous said...

"How can that not be bad for the small shops inbetween?"

Good points Nick, But we're only talking about grocery here. Before, this place was a tool hire place. The fact that it closed a while back had next to no effect on the immediate area. This will, without doubt. Small shops that relied on student footfall may well close down and then I suspect that stretch will be even more empty than now. It would be nice to think that demand for alternatives will then generate new businesses, but there are empty premises already that could be utilized if space was the issue.

Tamsin said...

Agree with the last anon - we've lost some variety, which is a pity.

Even more of a pity is that Sainsburys when building the NXG store did not listen to local voices crying out for it to be at the front and the car park at the back - but that's water well under the bridge and they've been punished by relatively poor trading figures ever since.

What bugs me also is what I've heard about the price con. Is it not the case that unless you are really clued up you think "Supermarket = value" and don't realise that Tesco Express and Sainsbury's Local have different pricing structures?

Bored now said...

yes Tamsin, as do any bussiness. They are competing but also trying to maximise their profit. I don't see this ethical difference between that and a nearby convineince store. The owners my be nice, well why would the Sainsbury manager and staff be less nice and deserving? You could interperet the other traders and thinking THEY own the highstreet and want to operate a cartel that suits their pricing, thats silly of course but lets not forget that ANY bussines has and should compete for our ££. There should be some control over diversity and someone looking at the overall health of the highstreet but as soon as i hear the Tesco/Sainsbury=EVIL! narative, i turn off. It's misleading, if im on a low salery and dont want to walk to NXG why shouldn't i buy my beans from a Sainsbury local at less than a neighbouring independant? it's harsh but 'twas ever thus since Ugg started trading surplus mamouth steaks.

Gill said...

@ CREAM - a freestanding cash machine was installed outside Goldsmith's library 2 weeks ago, which was definitely much needed.

The New Cross Mini Supermarket, where you can buy (almost) anything you need, is becoming a Londis. It's a really useful shop, but was pretty tatty inside, and they're now benefitting from a full Londis refit. It's remained open throughout - the other Sunday there was no shop front and it was open onto the pavement, but they were still flogging stuff!

Whether it's the owner's response to the arrival of the Sainsbury's Local or he just thought the shop needed smartening up, it's a good thing for that parade.

Anonymous said...

I hope its better than the big Sainsburys down the road.

Can only be good news for the horrible stretch of shops.

Dekanube said...

I am pleased about this. Now how do we add a boots to the mix. When will small owners learn that these types of 'big' shops actually bring people to the street? For example, if I knew there was a boots up there I would definitely make a trip up there on foot, passing all the small local shops up there that I don't currently visit as I don't generally have time to shop twice.... I got to where I can get my basic stuff first, boots and supermarket, and then frequent whatever else is nearby.... I can't be the only one doing this, in fact I would hazard a guess this makes me fairly normal....

I hope additions continue to the area so it becomes a practical place to shop as I imagine it once was.... Whether we can thank sainsburys for this is another matter as I suspect they were doing as nick says and getting in before a competitor

Anonymous said...

The idea that a Sainsburys Local is bad for the high street is pure non sense. It is a free market and people can shop where they choose. Many people will choose to shop in the Sainsburys because they sell things that people want to buy and in a pleasant environment. The small independent shops that make an effort and sell quality products such as the Allotment have nothing to fear. The other local stores that have had years of selling low quality products in tatty shops will have to raise their game if they want to survive. That has to be a good thing for the quality of the high street.

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