Important to balance needs of independents and s-store

PUBLISHED: 01:01 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:54 10 June 2010

EXMOUTH Chamber of Commerce members will have the chance to discuss the merits of the proposed ASM/ASDA supermarket at two forthcoming meetings organised by the chamber. On March 18, at the chamber s annual general meeting, to be held at the Royal Beacon

EXMOUTH Chamber of Commerce members will have the chance to discuss the merits of the proposed ASM/ASDA supermarket at two forthcoming meetings organised by the chamber. On March 18, at the chamber's annual general meeting, to be held at the Royal Beacon Hotel, starting at 7pm, further information will be provided after the chamber recently met with ASDA/ASM to learn more about the proposed development. In April, ASM/ASDA will be making a formal presentation to the chamber of commerce executive committee, since it has always been chamber policy to support ways of bringing more shoppers to the town centre. The East Devon District Council Unlocking Exmouth initiative two years ago resulted in the chamber supporting the need for a food supermarket offering approximately 26,000 sq ft, since this size would enable the operator to compete with Tesco. The proposed development currently allows for space selling the George range, as well as housewares and small electrical items. As part of the chamber's research, opinions have been canvassed from members and currently opinion is divided, some with competing products do not fear ASDA's arrival since it will enable the independent retailer, selling food, clothing or other comparison goods, to offer a level of service that ASDA cannot hope to match. Others are fearful that everyone will be so price conscious that efforts to offer a better service will go unrewarded. While competition is good for business and the consumer, it is important to remember that a balance needs to be reached between supermarkets and independent retailers of all types. The chamber is seeking to maintain that balance so that everyone can continue to be part of a vibrant part of the business community within Exmouth. Much has been said of the leakage of shoppers from Exmouth to other distant shopping areas. The likely arrival of ASDA to the town might begin to reverse the leakage, so bringing new shoppers to Exmouth, who might be induced to visit our shopping centre as well. The chamber of commerce will continue to meet with ASM/ASDA in order that the town and the local community can get the best deal possible from the developer, because the supermarket will be there for many years and tomorrow's residents will have to live with decisions made by today's. If any business would like to become a member of the chamber of trade and participate at the forthcoming AGM, please contact me at the chamber's office in the Tourist Information Centre. Simon Wood,Secretary,Exmouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce.

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