ASDA: let's hear fact first'

PUBLISHED: 09:41 18 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:46 10 June 2010

PEOPLE should not feel pressured into forming an opinion about ASDA s plans for a new store in Exmouth - until they have all the facts. That is the opinion of business expert Malcolm Sherry, spokesmann for the East Devon Chambers of Commerce.

PEOPLE should not feel pressured into forming an opinion about ASDA's plans for a new store in Exmouth - until they have all the facts.

That is the opinion of business expert Malcolm Sherry, spokesmann for the East Devon Chambers of Commerce.

He says: "There are big arguments across the board, for and against.

"Footfall in the town centre can actually increase with the arrival of a big supermarket.

"It is only when they are smack bang in the middle of a town that there is more of an effect, but there are arguments on both sides."

Mr Sherry says supermarket chains don't always look beyond the figures.

"For them, it is just a business model," he said.

"Their weakness is their lack of corporate social responsibility."

Mr Sherry is already in talks with Tesco about how it can improve the way its business integrates with communities.

Referring to ASDA's proposals, as part of the Exmouth regeneration scheme, Mr Sherry said: "The announcement was only made just before Christmas.

"Nobody has really had a chance to talk about it in detail.

"What I'd like to see is evidence from other areas. Before people can say one way or the other, they need some factual evidence to provide each side of the argument.

"There have been cases where towns have been made by retail development. It doesn't always have to be looked at as a negative. It can be an opportunity.

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