Friday, November 18, 2011

New Tesco will ease traffic in Kidderminster?

One of the comments on the WFA entry "Tesco and the Florist" was that the new Stourport Tesco will ease some of the congestion in Kidderminster. Will it? Consider the group of people who shop in Kidderminster:

  1. Those who are there to shop at the supermarkets and then leave.
  2. Those who are there to shop at the supermarkets and then shop in the rest of the town while there.
  3. Those who are there to shop in the town and shop in the supermarkets while there, and
  4. Those who are there to shop in the town and then leave.
Taken in turn for groups 1 and 2 a proportion of those will chose to use the new supermarket and thus not contribute to traffic; those in groups 3 and 4 will still use the town and therefore affect no change. In theory therefore traffic will decrease. No let's consider the rest of the town's shops.

For groups 1, 3 and 4 there will be no change to the town as they'll continue to shop/not shop there. However group 2 are only shopping while there; if there is no reason for them to be there they won't shop. So that's three no changes and one detrimental - the town will lose customers.

Now it's possible that those in group 2 will split and some will fall into group 4; that is shopping in the new Stourport Tesco and then going into Kidderminster; some may split and fall into group 3. Which leaves the customer base for Kidderminster more intact, but does little to alter the traffic volume.

In short a decrease in traffic is likely to lead to a decrease in custom for the town; so not really something that should be looked forward to.

As an aside for group 2 the theory is that the loss of Kidderminster town custom should mean an increase in Stourport custom. And if the situations were identical this would most likely be the case... of course they're not. The types of shops in Stourport don't match those in Kidderminster; neither does pedestrian access. This means people not shopping unless there is something they actually need rather than the browsing type of shopping that is so easily accessible in closely connected shopping systems (such as Merry Hill etc.)

In reality therefore I expect a drop in trade for both Stourport and Kidderminster town centres once the new supermarket opens unless a external factor can encourage shopping in these areas.


Tav said...

To analyse vehicular traffic migration from Kidderminster Tesco users to new Stourport Tesco users we should be considering the traffic route. I foresee the south and east side of Kidderminster will take Wilden Lane to shop in the new Tesco in Stourport (but not the town centre). Then anyone from north or west side of Kidderminster will stick with Kidderminster Tesco.

FlipC said...

I was trying to keep it a high level rather than get into detail, but yes the routing does matter and there may be a decrease in traffic from the south and east.

However that's balanced by both the Stourport road structure and habit. If the road's always jammed the better Kidderminster system becomes more appealing. If you're used to going to Kidderminster you will default to that.

My main point, as I'm sure you understood, was this isn't something that's just going to affect Stourport High Street, but the Kidderminster trade too.