Tesco turf war

Traders on Lewisham Way have welcomed a new member in to their fold in predictable fashion, according to this article about Tesco's plan to build a Metro store on the street:

Traders are furious at Tesco plan
Jul 24 2007
By Kate Gould

TRADERS in Lewisham are angry that a supermarket giant is trying to muscle in on their patch.

Tesco has applied to open a Tesco Express store in Lewisham Way, Brockley, in a vacant former furniture store.

If approved, the store would open between 6am and 11pm every day. Traders have reacted angrily, saying it could put many of them out of business.

Rose Ali, who runs the One Step Ahead Dry Cleaning shop at Lewisham Way, said: "There are already two Tescos nearby and we don't need any more.
"There are also two independent supermarkets on this stretch of Lewisham Way so why do we need another one?"

Sivarajah Shriram, who owns and runs Gogif's Convenience Store two doors down from the proposed site, said Tesco's arrival would be bad news.

He added: "I have only been here since September last year and have invested a lot in building this business up. If Tesco comes I will have to close as I can't compete. I won't be the only one. We have to fight this application, otherwise it will kill off this parade.

"If it's approved there will be more noise, cars and pollution. There is also nowhere for shoppers to park and there is a bus stop right outside the shop, so where are the delivery lorries going to park? It's going to be a nightmare."

A petition with more than 450 signatures opposing the plans was handed to Lewisham council last week.
A Tesco spokesman said: "We have got 700 Express stores throughout the country that trade alongside other traders.

"For Tesco it's about offering choice and value to customers and attracting new business to the area. We have found our stores have a positive effect on other retailers."

A decision on the scheme is due to be taken by council planning bosses in the next few months.
We can see why a convenience store owner might feel a little threatened (although we're of the view that shops should serve their customers, and if they want to shop at Tesco, then the shopkeeper needs to adapt) but why a drycleaner should be worried by the arrival of a food shop is anyone's guess. The argument about the nearby presence of two other Tescos is misleading, since one is just a glorified petrol station and the other is a supermarket in Lewisham.


leenewham said...

I agree with the comments. Tesco offer somethign different to Gogi's. Not everyone goes to Tesco, and it may even encourage more people onto that side of the pavement. The supermarkets need to adapt for sure, but overall I think they should see this as a challenge, I dont htink GOGi's will have to close, it already has another minimart a couple of doors away, plus within a few hundres yards a permier food store, supercuts, the corner shop on the parade, another gogis, a costcutter, and two other smaller convenience shops.

The just need to make themselves better and work out what they can offer what TESCO can't...local produce for one, superior service, they can move with the markety quicker and most goods they sell aren't any more expensive than Tesco.

John S said...

Totally agree. The fact that Tesco brings civilisation is a damning indictment of civilisation, but it does nontheless. It's also an indictment of the current paucity of reasonable value/range food shops in Brockley. There's a reason that the current shop owners have got a petition together - they don't want to have to up their game. Bring it on I say. John

Headhunter said...

What we need is a Brockley branch of Whole Foods rather than Tesco....

Brockley Nick said...

Why Whole Foods, out of interest?

Jon said...

- Whole Foods, or just any place that sells decent quality fruit/veg/deli type stuff.

Yep, got to echo comments here - hopefully Tesco will make the other shops clean up their act, metaphorically and literally!

I would happily pay more for my produce if I think I'm getting better quality, and service. I'm fed up of being grunted at by shopkeepers along that stretch. Maybe once Tesco puts a rocket up them I might get a polite "Thank you, please come again!". Yeah, well, I'll keep wishing...

leenewham said...

OK, here is an idea, i'd love a whole food too. The problem we have in this country as opposed to the USA is that ordinary people are fightened of tarting their own business (unless its a franchise, one reason our highstreets are full of the same thing over and over again).

Why dont we make it easy for anyone who might want to open a shop in Brockley what we WOULD like to see o shop at. Perhaps then someone with a tiny bit of vision might bring fresh ideas and something we actually want rather than the same tired generic convenience stores selling dusty merchandise.

How we do that I don't know...Brockley cross society?

We want more 'Brocas' toads mouth toos etc, or places like the excellent Morroccan place in Crofton park.

Ans we want these stores to look great, not with plastic shopfronts and perpex illuminated signs.

Or am I alone in this?

leenewham said...

If anyone hasn't been in wholefoods in high Street kensington, pleas go. It's expensive, but in reality there is no reason a small store selling similar products, perhaps local from peoples allopments, or home made jam etc couldn't do very well (and at a fraction of the cost)...and we could even return the containers to recycle them and get them refilled.

Sue Luxton said...

Question (off on a slight tangent):
Do you think Brockleyites would travel to Ladywell Rd for a good whole food/organic shop? There are a number of vacant shops on Ladywell Road crying out to be put to such a use, IMHO. What do you think?

Jon said...

This whole local deli campaign is one that will run and run! Yes - I think Brockley peeps would be prepared to go to Ladywell - I would. But of course, I'd rather have one up the road. In fact, I think there is room for one in Ladywell and Brockley. I eagerly await what the two new shops next to Broca will become!

leenewham said...

I agree, we need it in both. HIgh street are failing, not becasue of Tesco, but because there is no alternative.

I'd love a really good local baker, cafe, pub, greengrocer, fishmonger etc. Look at Deptford highstreet it's thriving.

We need people to start opening businesses we want. If someone does this, I will design their brand for free if they open it in Brockley including shop front, brand identity, carrier bags if they need them etc on the understanding that it acts as a role model and what I say goes...and that I get the odd free cabbage!

Can someone be brave.

Anonymous said...

Look how successful Nunhead is as a high street, but it helps to have the best bakers in SE london, and the amazing fish shop which has been there for over 100 years. Along with a great chemist, two butchers, a florist and greengrocer, it seems to have the right mix. And its not that much further than Ladywell.

leenewham said...

I will have to go there..i didn't even know Nunhead had a high street!

spincat said...

No, where is this Nunhead High Street? Lead me there quick!

Richard Elliot said...

Apart from Meze Mangal, the Lewisham Way shopping parade is fairly dire at the moment. There are a number of vacant shops and the quality of the existing stores is pretty low.

Will it kill off some of the existing shops and lead to more vacant space? (One of the mini marts is already going to the close if the sign advertising its lease is to be believed)

Or will the increased foot fall to the area come to support a more vibrant shopping parade?

Overall I'm pleased Tesco's is going to be arriving. The area is badly lacking a cash machine (among a lot of other things), so if nothing else I hope they install one!

me said...

I can't wait! I'll never have to go to that awful garage again!

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