Tesco Extra: the grave threat to the precinct
Tesco claim they are committed to designing a store " which will keep people shopping locally." However, at the pre-application consultation meeting with community groups, on May 26th 2011, they stated they had no intention of reducing the scale from the previous application.
"We have been in a number of locations where either a new supermarket or the extension to "Superstore size" has made a significant difference to the foot fall in the existing High St. This is often the start of a long term decline with a resultant loss of amenity in the High Street, as small retailers and specialists find that their customer flow is permanently deflected forcing them to close.
Where the Supermarket is fully part of the High St, and sharing the same parking this effect is mitigated but the size of the Supermarket and width of range stocked by the supermarket is the deciding factor in the longer term, as individual retailers can't continuing trading on the reduced pedestrian flow which has diverted to the enlarged Supermarket on a permanent basis.
I don't think Planners and many Elected Representatives fully understand the longer term degeneration of their existing shopping which takes place over a number of years As companies do not renew leases on these once profitable stores, leading to vacancies or a significantly poorer variety of stores available to shoppers in the High Street. In a lot of cases Charity shops step into the vacancies altering the character of the High St if they become too numerous.
There are many studies showing the detrimental effects on the existing High St shopping Tesco is ultimately only interested in Tesco while residents and existing traders are concerned for the Town centre survival in the long term."