Thursday, December 21, 2006


I know three postings in one day, sorry.

As locals know, or perhaps in some cases don't, Tesco are planning to build on the old Bond Worth site in Stourport and they're really pushing for it. With various thoughts whizzing through my head I ended up at a simple question - why?

Let's start by saying this is all speculation, no hard facts on the planning or thoughts that go on behind the scenes are available to me, this is just my brain running away with itself.

So why Stourport, Tesco already have a supermarket in Kidderminster, does a town with a population of 20,000 need it's own supermarket? We already have a Lidl and a Co-op, can this town support a third major chain? Actually yes, because they all have different market segments

Lidl and Aldi, Co-op and Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's, Waitrose and M&S may be considered to compete with the other with some overlap to the next nearest set.

So what's this got to do with Tesco? Well the Tesco in Kidderminster was built in conjunction with the Weavers Wharf development, at the time that made sense, but delays for that allowed Sainsbury's to get an edge by building on Crossley Retail Park (an estate that shouldn't be there). Why the edge, well there is no direct access from the Wharf to the Tesco except by foot, to drive there you have to go all the way around town, Sainsbury's on the other hand is directly opposite the Wharf and is a short car-hop away. Tesco has it's own free car-park, but shot themselves in the foot by putting ticket barriers up (now gone); Sainsbury's has their own free car-park, plus the large free car-park as part of the park. To put it bluntly Sainsbury's wins.

Still what about Stourport? Well it's easy. Tesco build their site and Sainsbury's look to build one here too, and they build it where... exactly. Not only are there no more free sites of the correct size within town, they'd also have to prepare their case that the town can support yet another large supermarket; unlikely.

So Tesco have no competition within their market segment, are unlikely to have any anywhere in the near to long-term future, and are liable to draw in people from Bewdley and ironically Kidderminster. Win-win

So for those looking to oppose the building of the new Tesco, expect a fight. For those looking to get them to build, gouge them for all they're worth.


Tavis Pitt said...

You haven’t mentioned the Tesco already in Stourport. One theory behind Tesco’s motive is the competitive edge Lidl has over them in Stourport. The Lidl supermarket is bigger than the current Tesco on Lombard Street, it has a bigger car-park, it’s more open and it lies along a busier street (Vale Road).

If another supermarket chain was to move in or expand after Tesco there are more available sites, such as the caravan park across the road from Areley House. If a developer, supermarket or not, intended to build there, they could easily favour supporters by building their access road as part of the Stourport Relief Road.

FlipC said...

The reason I didn't mention the Tesco already present is for the same reason I didn't mention the Indoor Market, at these scales it's irrelevant. The very fact that is was downgraded, oops, revamped into a Tesco Metro is an indicator of it's importance. I believe it's only survived due to the non-competition around it.

Which takes me to your second point, the Tesco is not in direct competition with Lidl, the Co-op is a greater threat. Draw a line and place the supermarkets I've listed on it in the order I showed and if you measure the probabilities of a certain type of shopper visiting them, then for 'Tesco-types' the odds of them frequenting Lidl are small despite its easier access.

Finally as to the location for another supermarket chain. The site you've mentioned would give access to the market on the Areley side of the bridge, however they'd need to get outline planning permission first, prove that the town can support another large supermarket; and they'd have to expand into the caravan park affecting the tourist trade. Even if they throw a bone in the shape of by-pass building, all that'll do is place the two supermarkets on a direct line once the final bridge is built and if they occupy the same position on the market 'line' then neither would want that sort of real direct competition, helps neither and hinders both.

Anonymous said...

Not getting into the Tesco argument (!), just wanted to wish you a very Happy Christmas & New Year :)
Have a great time and I look forward to reading more from you in 2007.
All the Best,
Sue x