Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Say Yes to Tesco in Stourport revisited.

Tav's comment here deserves a longer response then can be easily crammed into another comment (and besides it gives me another Tesco Stouport hit in Google :-P)

Point 1 - a full range of foodstuffs. As Tav differentiates having more of something doesn't mean having a wider range. Selling every available flavour of Walkers crisps does you no good if you want to buy Seabrook instead. In theory supermarkets can take a risk with a new product as they have the financial clout to subsume any loss. Smaller stores can't take the financial hit if they're wrong and so stick to the conservative staples.

That was the case prior to the rise of supermarkets and many point to supermarkets introducing many people in the UK to a wide variety of different foodstuff; except I don't think this is the case. I think the stocking of shelves with pasta and curry etc. is more to do with immigration; people moving to the UK and wanting to cook their indigenous meals not being able to find ingredients and, in some cases, starting a business to sell such to people in the same position they were in. The supermarkets just noticed this, as well as the rise in take-aways, and just moved into the market with little to no risk.

The next problem with range supermarket vs small store lies in bulk buying. For the supermarkets it's only worth buying in goods if they can be distributed and sold throughout the chain. If the Midlands like a product, but the rest of the country doesn't; then it's removed from the shelves. The only time this might not happen is if the demand (and price) is large enough to cover the removal of the bulk-buying/shipping economies of scale. A smaller store on the other hand don't have that to worry about, they can buy in one crate of product X because they now they have a market for it.

So as Tav points out if the local store goes then so does product X because it's not worth the chain buying it in for the handful of customers who want it.

This, however, doesn't explicitly answer the point that the butchers can function if they continue their specialising behaviour. They can continue this until the supermarkets believe that such specialities can be marketed to a wider base and jump onto the wagon. They can still find and specialise, highly ironic as it's the supermarkets that are supposed to be the source of this boom, but will still be indirectly competing with the supermarkets. Huh? Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time a women asked a specialist firm to make something for her, she needed a specialist as the product she required didn't match the standard template sizes what with it being around two inches larger. Making this product would obviously take dedicated materials and labour and the final price was around £200. The standard mass-produced item was on sale for around £100. The women blew-up complained that they were trying to rip her off by charging £100 for two extra inches.

Point 2 - traffic. Again Tav is correct residential traffic tends towards the tidal, which is no doubt what we'll see with the new houses being built on CoW; retail traffic tends to be constant (in lower concentrations) with the added joy of delivery vans shuttling back and forth. If any of the objectors took the time to look at the plans they would see that the area we're talking about simple isn't set-up to handle a constant stream; to be honest I don't think it's set up to handle the tidal residential stream either, just think about trying to get into the third lane on Vale Road in a morning with a rush of traffic heading round the one-way system.

This leads to point 3 - the vinegar works etc. I won't reiterate what Tav or the report states I will simply ask that the differences between a Carpet Factory and Vinegar Works, and any form of retail outlet be considered. That is unless there really were people knocking on the doors asking to buy a bottle of vinegar.

Finally point 4 - "...people will come into town and shop" which ties to one of my original answers regarding the 'I buy locally then go into Kiddy'. Tesco will be a one-stop shop (except for the odd speciality) and if you think that any major fraction of the money spent there will re-circulate around Stourport well I'd love to live in your world.


Tav said...

Something I thought of while reading this... In Kidderminster I believe we have three Polish food specialist shops, where you can get food and drink items not available in Tesco, Sainsbury's or any other supermarket in Kidderminster (and believe me we have lots). Now thinking back to a David Taylor blog, perhaps Stourport could become a 'destination town' of world cuisine shops and restaurants.

By the way: The 'full range' debate was explained to me by Cllr. Chris Hull of Norfolk County Council, who has actually experienced the death of a town by Tesco.

FlipC said...

Name dropper :-P. 'No see Tesco will create jobs, draw people into the town to shop and revitalise the town; we've so many examples of this happening' yeah.

Hmm I can think of two Polish shops, one in Blackwell Street and the other in um Comberton Hill?

As an aside Sainsbury's sell Kabanosy or at least something they refer to as Polish Kabanos Sausages.