Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Culloden getting a Sainsbury's before Nairn - what would the bookies give for odds?

Any betting Gurnites out there? What do you think the chances are that Sainsbury's will set up in the Inverness urban sprawl before the doors open on the planned Balmakeith store.
'SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury's is in early talks to build a major store on the outskirts of Inverness near Culloden.
The development would be located between Stratton Lodge and Stratton Farm and help kick start the £320 million Inverness Arc project, a massive residential, business and retail scheme first unveiled by Inverness Estates five years ago.'
Meanwhile on the P&J site.
'Sainsbury’s town planner for Scotland Jeff Wilson said: “I am delighted to be able to confirm that we are in a position to proceed with the local planning inquiry.
“We are confident that our proposals, which will create in excess of 200 new permanent jobs in the food store and about 100 jobs in the other retail units, will receive the support of the independent review.”


Anonymous said...

A tough one for Sainsburys.
Let me see, Pettifer Estates have gone under, enquiry needed for planning, enquiry put back, question mark over current town centre store’s future (Somerfields) and an indifferent local reaction to the possibility of a new store anyway.
If I were Sainsburys I don’t think Nairn would be my number one choice.
Maybe Nairn should advertise for some new car dealerships as it looks like many more car journeys for those Nairnites who can afford and want to shop in a large supermarket!

Anonymous said...

I don't know, you turn your back for a couple of days, and Sainsbury's stores are popping up all over the place - must be those 'green shoots of recovery' that the BBC keep telling us to look out for.

In my opinion, the two stories really are quite different though.
In fact , one is a story, and the other is typical of modern journalism, basically puffs of smoke.

The Inverness Courier article is about nothing. A national supermarket operator has perhaps been looking at a potential site on a development that's been on a drawing board for so long that it seems to pre-date the internet. At least Brian over at MyNairn can't find any details about it online, and if Brian can't, then I would doubt that anyone can.

Even in pre-current crisis Britain though, did Inverness actually really need another 'pile it high, warehouse type out-of-town (kill the old town)retail experience , with 500 or so houses bolted onto its nether regions, with lots of those affordable ones, to keep the lefties happy' type development ?

65,000 people live in the place. There will be enough retail parks in Inverness shortly to slake the shopping thirst of the majority of folks from Wick to West Linton.

But.................. the Sainbury's Nairn article is much more interesting ( I would have to say that, while the P+J benefits from online accessibility, the old Nairnshire has to score more points for actually getting the details correct).

Unexpected ,was the phrase uttered to the Spurtle today. A move that our Colonial cousins may describe as being out of 'left field'.

A smart move methinks though. The one thing that really sold the Balmakeith proposal to those who actively supported it, was the presence of Sainbury's ( have no doubt that the council vote would have been quite different , had it been Tesco/Asda applying to build).

So the company have obviously decided that they must take a greater control in shaping the destiny of the Nairn store.

Obviously there is still unease within the business community, though it now seems more specific in questioning the need for the 'warehouse ' type retail units , in addition to the supermarket. There is the possibility that they might find a more open approach from Sainsbury's themselves on these concerns.

Sainbury's may well even consider actively engaging the nearest neighbours to the project, which would be in their best interest after all, rather than adopting the condescending approach employed by Pettifers on some occasions.

Let's just hope we can all still afford to buy food, when Nairn does get a new supermarket.

All in all, an interesting few days.

Anonymous said...

Intersetingly, from the start Pettifers announced the creation of upto 300 jobs. With the number or retail units cut from 6 to 4, there has never been a cut in the number of jobs that may be created with with less retail space.

From this example already, it may be possible to cut the development back to nothing and still provide 300 jobs!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine them wanting to engage their nearest neighbours, public support is what they want. As long as they get approval so that they can boost their company profit nothing else matters to them.

Spurtle, I think this is an ideal that a large faceless supermarket would never have any intentions of doing. That would mean personalising their plans and involvement, and you can't have that when all you want is profit.