Sainsbury's opening in Brockley in 2013

Brockley Nick here:

Sainsbury's will be opening a branch of its Local format stores on Mantle Road early next year.

The lease is expiring on the Nisa store next to the Broca Food Market and Sainsbury's will be moving in shortly. It has made an application to sell alcohol between 6am and midnight.

As disclosed many times before, the agency I work for has Sainsbury's as a client, so I won't comment on the desirability of this development, I'll simply offer the following observations:

1. We knew this was coming, one way or another. Supermarkets are moving back to the high street as the "out of town" model is over. Sainsbury's told us they were looking at Brockley two years ago.

2. This would have been more dramatic news before the arrival of the new Nisa, next to the station. That shop has helped to bring a little light and life to what used to be a very dark station exit on the west side and has provided some much-needed competition to Costcutter, about which the best that can be said is that it's a little patchy. Neither offers very much in the way of fresh food and although the Broca Food Market has filled that gap, it doesn't offer the scale or opening hours that a new supermarket chain will. All three businesses could have their trade affected, though the Broca Food Market is nicely differentiated and there could be an upside for it in terms of passing trade. Costcutter's a convenience supermarket and is probably insulated by the railway line. Nisa is the one that will probably face the toughest competition, which is ironic, since it set itself up in opposition to the branch of Nisa which is about to close.

3. When I went to have a look at Sainsbury's licensing application, at 9pm last night, it was eerily quiet. I popped in to Nisa to get some cash but the machine was out of money, so I headed over to Brockley Road. Costcutter was just shutting up. A late night food retailer in the centre of Brockley (other than Duke) will change the dynamics of the area considerably.

With thanks to 'Cool for Cats' for the heads-up.