A survey by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has shown a high level of concern from the public over the increasing dominance of supermarkets on the high street.
Some 68% of those polled thought that the explosion of the “metro” format of convenience stores owned by the big supermarket chains was damaging to the fabric of the local community. Over 60% were also of the opinion that the spread of supermarket owned stores gave less choice and less friendly service.
It seems that while the vast majority of the population is quite happy to do their main food shopping at large supermarket outlets they are rather more worried about the influence of the big chains on their local area. Hove has seen the presence of Tesco stores rocket over the past two years. Quite apart from the large supermarket in Church Road there are at least four other metro style outlets within a few miles. Tesco has angered local traders in George Street over its attitude to parking restrictions and fees at its Church Road outlet, which they allege are not in the spirit of the original agreement.
Tesco is the largest of the big four supermarket chains and the most successful retailer in the UK, which would indicate that it enjoys huge popularity. But public sentiment is fickle and it would be unwise to ignore local sentiment whether it comes from the general public or fellow (albeit much smaller) retailers.
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Association of Convenience Stores