Tesco moves into Stevenage neighbourhood shops

THE UK’s biggest supermarket chain is moving into a former pub in a Stevenage neighbourhood shopping area, sparking fears that smaller stores will be put out of business.

Supermarket giant Tesco confirmed it had signed a lease last week on the site of the former Chells Family Pub at The Glebe. The company plans to open a new Express store there by Christmas, creating around 20 new jobs.

But Kishor Patel, manager of the Nisa Local store at The Glebe, said the ‘Tescoisation’ of the shopping centre will have a devastating affect on traders and called on residents to oppose it.

“For the past two and half years we have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in developing the trade at the Nisa Local store, created several new jobs at our store and brought new custom to The Glebe and were looking forward to the planned upgrade of The Glebe shopping Centre,” he said.

“We are devastated to hear that Tesco is planning to open a Tesco Express at The Glebe pub which has been closed down and cleared out.

“This would have a devastating affect on The Glebe precinct and the two local convenience stores. I feel the local residents and local government should be aware of this secret deal.

“We only witnessed the recent riots in Bristol how strongly people felt of Tescoisation.

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This proposed development must be stopped for the well-being and diversity of local stores which provide a choice in the local community.”

Tesco spokesman, Carol Leslie, argued the food store will be an asset to the community, who will benefit from the company’s “good neighbour” policy.

“Not only is this an excellent opportunity to regenerate this former pub site and bring it back to use but we look forward to investing in the area, creating new jobs, serving local people and becoming part of the community,” she said.

“We believe it will benefit the area by encouraging people to shop locally and also cut down on car journeys to other areas. It will also be extremely convenient for residents living nearby who have no transport or those preferring to shop on foot, equally it’s always very popular with the elderly and busy mums.”