Becoming Tescoville?

July 21, 2013

I have commented on more than one occasion on how public houses are converted into ‘local’ or ‘Metro’ branches of the big supermarkets.

I also comented on the failure of the ‘Golden Fleece’ as a public house, how it was thought that it would become a local Tesco.

That work is now well underway. But within two miles, an old car showroom is also being converted into another local Tesco.

So in this town, there are: Two big Tesco stores, in the town centre and by a motorway junction, and now at least four ‘local’ Tescos. A big Sainsbury’s. There is a ‘local’ branch in a nearby village – on the site of an old pub which it demolished, as I recorded – but to get to that village by whatever route, you travel through countryside. That branch appears to have forced the closure of the established Budgens within a stone’s throw.

Back to the main town, a biggish Morrisons. A large Asda by the other motorway junction, an area that is becoming a town-on-the-hill, but somewhat separate from the rest of the town. A load of independant or small chain small supermarkets, often being forced out of business. Some of them are terrible (I have personal experience), lacking stock, service, and possibly are only really servicing a particular segment of the local population in the area – although I fail to see how they can even manage that.

I don’t mind that there are one or more ‘local’ style supermarket brnaches, but why are they all Tesco?

This ever greater dominance of Tescos in the town remindes me of the ‘Shoe Event Horizon’ in the Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s series – an economy where it becomes economically impossible to open anything but a shoe shop. Here, it appears to be impossible to open a ‘local’ supermarket anything other than Tesco’s.

I hear that Waitrose decided against opening a branch in the town, despite having significant present in the area. There is an Aldi or Lidl somewhere hidden away, but it cannot be a large branch – is the established dominance of Tesco showing?

As a brief note on Public Houses, the George V has had yet another round of advertising for a new ‘mine host’; others also have such advert up outside. Many public houses are now being converted to housing, other commercial premises (other than the supermarkets I have gone on about).

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