Letchworth convenience store to take on Tesco Express with extended opening hours


- Credit: Archant

A CONVENIENCE store has been given permission to have its opening hours extended in a bid to compete with a Tesco Express store.

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

They were granted their wish by a licensing and appeals committee last Thursday.

Speaking of the decision, Sudager Aujlia, who runs the store with his brother Jack, said: “The opening hours now give us the flexibility of deciding when we open and close. It doesn’t necessarily mean we will stay open until 11pm or open any earlier than 8am. But having the flexibility all year round is really good for us.

“With Tesco around the corner from us we have to make ends meet but also try and balance the overheads. The main reason we applied to the council was to be in competition with Tesco.”

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The 51-year-old, who has owned the business for the past 16 years, added: “Our customers have remained loyal to us and we know most of them on a first name basis.”

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

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A representation to NHDC ahead of the decision was made by resident Mrs Tant, who lives round the corner from the shop.

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.”

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