Letchworth convenience store aiming to take on Tesco

Owners of Nisa have applied to have the stores opening hours extended

Owners of Nisa have applied to have the stores opening hours extended - Credit: Archant

A CONVENIENCE store has applied to have its opening hours extended in a bid to compete with a Tesco Extra store.

Owners of the Aujla Superstore on The Parade, Letchworth GC, which is a franchise of the Nisa store, has applied to North Herts District Council’s (NHDC) licensing and appeals committee to extend the hours to 11pm.

Speaking of his decision to apply for a extension, Jack Aujlia, who runs the supermarket with his brother Sudager, said: “If we are open longer then we can serve our customers better.

“We have been very lucky that since the opening of the Tesco store we have had all customers come back to us, they have remained loyal to us, but we have to turn people away after 10pm because we do not have the licence to sell alcohol after this time.”

The brothers extended the hours of the store in Southfields from 7am to 10pm in April in a bid to meet the competition from the new Tesco Extra in Pelican Way – the former site of The Pelican pub – after his bid to keep the pub open failed last April.

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Owner of Grange Wine Store Hitesh Chandarana said: “Nisa have to do what they have to do.

“It is because of Tesco and in terms of anti-social behaviour it has calmed down, but I think that is to do with the winter months. I don’t know what it would be like in the summer months. I don’t live around here and when I go home the shutters go down and I feel that my shop is safe.”

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A representation to NHDC has been made by resident Mrs Tant, who lives round the corner from the shop.

In a report published ahead of the meeting, she said: “As a resident of the Grange Estate, there are already issues with drunk and disorderly behaviour and we have had criminal damage to our property as well as late night disturbance.

“There are groups of youths hanging around the shop causing residents to be intimidated and this will escalate if the hours of sale increases.”

The meeting will be held on April 4 at NHDC’s offices.

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