Fears new Tesco could hurt family shops

PUBLISHED: 10:02 29 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:02 29 December 2014


Tesco has denied claims that its new store in Budleigh Salterton will extend over two floors - amid fears the superstore giant could kill off local shops.

The supermarket giant announced earlier this month that it is planning to open a Tesco Express store at 10 Fore Street, currently home to SM Prior and Son.

Rumours in the town this week suggested that the new shop would have two storeys, with the upstairs dedicated to selling electrical goods.

However, Tesco has said this is not the case.

A spokesman confirmed: “We are moving into a ground-floor space on Fore Street.”

The Journal also understands that Tesco’s plan for the site comes after winning a bidding war against other major supermarkets.

It is understood that several chains were interested, with Tesco winning the bid early in December.

A spokesman for Asda said it had not been involved, as it does not run small convenience stores. Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons and Aldi had not responded to requests for a comment as the Journal went to press.

Tesco previously said its proposed new store would be good for the community, and would create jobs for local people.

However, some residents have expressed concern about the effect the store would have on independent traders.

Bruce Kennard-Simpson, of Otterton, said: “We are appalled at the prospect of Tesco opening a shop in Budleigh Salterton. It would do great harm to the excellent traders that we are lucky to have. Tesco is not interested in the effect [it] will have on hard-working retailers who have served their town so well over the years.”

Sally and Pat Rogers, of West Terrace, said: “We wonder if the very many people who enjoyed [Christmas] late-night shopping in Budleigh, realise that the arrival of a Tesco store is likely to cause the closure of several of the family-owned shops which entertained them?”

The SM Prior and Son shop was granted planning permission earlier this year to extend its retail floor space, and Tesco is expected to submit its own applications shortly.

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