Let's hope ASDA still do come

I am a frequent visitor to Exmouth, formerly on business, but these days I come for short holidays. I have followed closely the debate over Asda opening a store in Exmouth. On a recent Saturday morning, I was rather sad to see demonstrators in the town

I am a frequent visitor to Exmouth, formerly on business, but these days I come for short holidays. I have followed closely the debate over Asda opening a store in Exmouth. On a recent Saturday morning, I was rather sad to see demonstrators in the town centre celebrating Asda's decision not to come to the town. Leaving aside the fact that this decision had nothing whatever to do with the protesters and was, therefore, in no sense a victory for them (the decision was based on circumstances relating to the present economic crisis), another issue arises.Here was a group of people rejoicing that jobs were not being brought to Exmouth and that those who could have got those jobs will be unemployed. It is not pleasant to see people rejoicing at unemployment and I speak as one who has known unemployment. Also, the service that Asda would provide will now be denied to the people of Exmouth. More competition, which Asda would have provided, would have been a good thing and the town would have benefited from it. Exmouth will be poorer, not just economically, from the denial of this service. Competition adds to the life of a community. Life will be poorer here because this competition will not now take place. The wider choice of goods available to the Exmouth people, which would have enriched the town, will not now be offered to them.But those who seem happy that Asda are not opening their store lack real understanding of the market. Market forces always work for the good of ordinary people. The fact that Asda wished to come to Exmouth meant there was a market opportunity here for them. That opportunity is, for the moment, closed. But, when the economic situation improves, the opportunity will arise again and Asda or another firm will come to Exmouth. Those who are pleased at the denial of more employment and more service, being offered to people in Exmouth show little understanding if they do not see that their victory will be short-lived. Asda saw there was a demand for another store in Exmouth. There is no doubt that it will certainly come. For the interests of Exmouth people, I trust it will come soon.Anthony Linton-BrownBlackheath, London.


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