Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spurtle on Sainsbury's stores popping up everywhere

Spurtle on recent Sainsbury's developments:

''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...

Morning phone call to the Spurtle, discussing Sainsbury's takeover of the development.

Seemingly the one great fear that Pettifer's had during the planning process was that Tesco would make a move on the town centre site.
After all, it has planning permission for development.

Sainsbury's obviously want to move things alomng a quickly as possible, hence the route they've taken - it is a shame though, if the Somerfield store is likely to be sold to give the Co-op a nice quick return on their investment, that Sainsbury's couldn't find a a way to build a smaller store on the site.

There still exists the real possibility that one of the other big players can come in, buy the Somerfield store, and re-develop it, without need for any further planning permissions. It must be tempting for Tesco to do so, given the conflict they have with Sainsbury's elsewhere in Scotland.

Graisg said...

Last night at the Suburban ComC there was a discussion on the prospects or lack of them for the town centre. It seems the public up in the western parts of the town feel that the whole thing is practically a failure and that HC should own up as such.
Cllr Laurie Fraser was still bullish however and maintained 'that someone will have to do it' (ie build a new supermarket). Perhaps there is a chance that one day someone will but in the meantime Laurie's comment nearly brought the house down!