An embarrassment of supermarkets.
Lively conversations around town last weekend on the apparent imminent arrival of three new Supermarkets on the outskirts of Oswestry – Morrisons, Aldi (planning application passed by Shropshire Planning Politburo) and Lidl (likely to go through because, hey we need a Lidl right?). Added to the existing supermarkets – Sainsbury, Morrisons, town Aldi, and Coop, that will bring our total to SEVEN within a one mile radius of the town centre. That is not including M & S Foods, Stans or Iceland.
Oswestry Eye has a succinct blog on the Aldi approval here.
Naturally, local shopkeepers are appalled and fear that so many supermarkets will be the death knell of independent shopping in Oswestry Town Centre.
As a staunch supporter of our independent businesses, and a regular supermarket user, I think that the fear is misplaced.
Here’s my take:-
If you live on that side of town where the new supermarkets are to be built, then you’re likely to use one or two of them, as it will be easier (ostensibly) for you to get to than shop in the town ones.
If you live on the other side of town, or in the town centre and you are a full on supermarket shopper, why change? All the supermarkets will be price matching like mad, so there’s no need for added mileage expense.
If you, like me, are a canny shopper, then you will happily carry on shopping for fresh meat, fish, greengrocery and deli delights at your local butcher, deli and market – knowing that you get top value for money, a damn good quality of food, in the quantity you want, and then the stuff you can’t get from the indies, you shop around – the pound stores, Wilkos, and then the supermarket for the rest of your list. Again, no need to change.
If you are happy with the quality and prices of Sainsbury and M&S, you sure ain’t going to down-grade to the new ones.
Where it will hit the most, I think, will be the supermarkets themselves. Those who operate two, will lose customers from one to the other, pricematchers will dance a shleppy between Morrisons/Aldi/Lidl. until they realize the daftness of it all. Some store, somewhere, will have to go – and given Morrison’s pants performance recently, I reckon it’ll be their town store.
Short term it will impact small business – anything new attracts sheeples in droves; long term, once the kerfuffle settles down, it will even out.
A couple of benefits – more parking spots available in town and (if and when the cinema gets built) the marauding bands of hormonally charged bored teenagers might lurch like fishtailed parka’d zombies down there.
See – every cloud does have a silver lining!
Member since: 11th June 2012
Charmed to my boots by Oswestry and the Welsh Marches. I happily do my best to support the fantastic independent shops and businesses in the area through The Best of Oswestry.