Effect of new store

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I was quoted on the front page of the Observer as saying there would be an effect on the shops in the parade at Parklands if a Co-operative convenience top-up store opened at what was The Inn on the Green.

The article failed to say that I hoped in many cases the effect would be positive rather than negative.

The proposal is for a Co-operative store providing a bigger range of fresh food and groceries than is currently available locally, therefore giving local shoppers more choice.

More choice locally means fewer people leaving the estate to go to a superstore for their top-up shopping.

Most of our customers using our other convenience stores live within a quarter of a mile and therefore walk to their local store.

Overall, there would be increased footfall in the parade which I would hope would mean additional customers for most of the other traders.

As to the restrictive covenants on the other traders, the covenants were put in place a long time ago. Because of lack of trade, the pub has gone and the dynamic of the area has changed.

Perhaps it is time for the traders to ask their landlord if these restrictions can be lifted so businesses can compete on a level playing field.

As a business, we have absolutely no desire to ‘threaten the very existence of the parade’. There is no reason why a new store would reduce the number of people using the hairdressers, the butchers, the takeaway, the post office and the pharmacy.

They attract people to the

parade and more people mean more business all round.

Ted Merdler

Head of Brand Engagement and Communication

The Southern Co-operative