Mixed reviews for Letchworth Tesco

Shops

Shops - Credit: Archant

CUSTOMERS and businesses in a shopping precinct have voiced mixed views following the opening of a Tesco store.

The Tesco Express in Pelican Way, Letchworth GC, opened on Friday

The Tesco Express in Pelican Way, Letchworth GC, opened on Friday - Credit: © Tim Jones Photography

Businesses at The Parade in Letchworth GC have criticised the supermarket giant after the mini-supermarket opened just behind the shopping precinct at the former site of The Pelican pub in October.

Jack Aujla, franchisee at the Nisa supermarket, extended the hours of his store in Southfields from 7am to 10pm in April in a bid to combat the competition from the Tesco Express after his attempt to keep the pub open failed.

He said: “A lot of people have continued coming to the store to do their weekly shop. We have a lot of loyal customers. We know most of the people who come in here and shop with us which makes a huge difference.”

Mr Aujla who has co-owned the store for 15 years with his brother Sudager, said offering budget prices was the key to people coming back.


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“It has never made sense why Tesco moved to the area. We have a Tesco on Bedford Road and there is also a Tesco in Baldock. They are a huge competition in the area but it seems to be going ok.”

Shopper Nicholas Douglas, who lived on the Grange Estate for 20 years before moving to Baldock, said: “I am glad the pub has gone, but as for Tesco I don’t think it needed to come here.

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“The site could have been used for better things. Having Tesco here is eventually going to put the businesses out of pocket here.”

But Ryan Adams, 20, said: “I wasn’t very happy when the pub closed and we didn’t see the point of Tesco coming here but, now that it is here, it has been very convenient.

“The self service check-outs mean you do not have to queue in other shops here, and also the online shop helps, as do the longer opening hours.”

Vijay Gandecha, Grange Pharmacy owner, said although the supermarket’s presence had not affected his trade since it opened, he criticised Tesco in their techniques in promoting the store.

Mr Gandecha, who has not visited the store out of principal, said: “A few weeks ago Tesco had put up a sign on the parade directing people to the store. I think it’s not nice to see, and they should use other methods in marketing the store.”

The Comet asked Tesco for a comment but did not receive one as we went to press.

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