Fears over ASDA effect

PUBLISHED: 01:01 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:47 10 June 2010

Your journalist Robin Leeburn (Journal, January 10) relays some of ASDA/Walmart's boasting" (page one). Could you please give him time and expenses to look inside some of their claims with his 'investigative hat' on? Could the East Devon Chamber of Co

Your journalist Robin Leeburn (Journal, January 10) relays some of ASDA/Walmart's "boasting" (page one). Could you please give him time and expenses to look inside some of their claims - with his 'investigative hat' on?Could the East Devon Chamber of Commerce (see page 12) help Exmouth by doing the same, through their national network? They may also have a view of the international 'Walmart-effect' over a much longer period.Bald statements such as 'two thirds of customers combine (Walmart) shopping with a town-centre trip' need some detailed qualification. The Somerfield Group, with a view, presumably as partial as Walmart's, are on record showing that the store-to-centre interaction is heavily dependent on how the locations of store and shops are separated - physically - and by perceived 'barriers'."400 new jobs" presents another contentious issue. There is evidence from other Walmart injections that for every Walmart full-time job-equivalent created, two jobs in the existing town fabric are lost. The jobs lost are, on average, of higher 'quality'/pay than those created.We need the specific and detailed evidence from other struggling retail centres of Exmouth's size. Can we believe ASM's own words "that ASM is promoting an optimistic future for our town"? Exmouth (like Red Riding Hood) is fragile and attractive - or are we crying 'wolf' in worrying about these questions?Nic Pawson,1 Greenacre, 5 Isca Road, Exmouth.

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