Do we want Tescos in Hebden Bridge?
Posted by Tess Blackburn
Or any other small, thriving market town they feel like making a move on?
The Barker report to the government recommends relaxing the needs test which allows supermarkets to build only where an area’s population is deemed to have insufficient retail space. Ruth Kelly, Communities and Local Government Secretary is now considering whether to accept this recommendation. And the big supermarkets are poised on the starting line for huge development.
Tesco already dominates the four biggest supermarkets and has been accused of 'bending' the current planning regulations. What won’t they get up to if this regulation is abandoned? Hebden Bridge rightly prides itself on being the town of 'great little shops'. Relaxing this regulation could be the death knell, not only for our own town, but for any small town you can think of which still has independent local shops.
Show your feelings. Write to Ruth Kelly, write to Chris McCafferty, make a noise and protest if you want to save one of your community’s most important assets.
Do we really mind? Lots of people will, lots won't. But the problem is we have to accept change.
A great example is Ladbrokes, people screamed, shouted and stamped their feet, and what still appeared - Ladbrokes.
By writing your concerns, a few people from a little town in the Pennines can't change the way of the world.
The world is moving on. Times they are'a changing. Lets stop being so over-protective.
Obviously I would rather not have giant supermarkets appearing everywhere, but that's life.
The mechanisms are there for objection to developments you don't want to see approved. The objections can be overridden by the authorities or they may agree and development not go ahead. The bottom line is apathy is OK if you don't mind one way or another how the area where you live changes - object to things you don't want, support those you do.
Is there some reason to think that we might get a Tesco in Hebden? Apparently the rumour that they had bought the Old Fire Station was wrong. In any case even if they had bought it (or if M&S have bought it) the site is only big enough for an 'express' type store which usually sell only ready-prepared and convenience foods - i.e. not in competition with the butcher, greengrocer, hardware etc. Tesco have opened a store in Sowerby Bridge and are definitely planning on putting one of their Express stores in Todmorden, so at least we can see what impact they have there. I can't see anyone building a 'giant' supermarket in Hebden - there simply isn't space, and probably not enough custom. But it still could be that national chains are moving into small towns by opening small stores and it rather blows our reputation for independent shops, and then we are on the slippery slope to 'sameness' which is a horrible prospect.
Bernie, we don't have to accept developments if we don't like them. OK, we may still have Ladbrokes, but we have the satisfaction of seeing it empty most of the time. The Mill Pond is a good example of how the Hebden Bridge community can influence the way our town develops. Local people fought the developers and won!
There is not a site in Hebden that is big enough to house even a Tesco Express, Halifax Woolshops is an express, and its a fair size, plus the fact they need a warehouse, delivery entrance/loading bay etc, I would think that the only way Tesco could get into HB is if standing buildings were demolished/rebuilt to house this type of development.
I spoke to Tesco Retail Network Development, the lady I spoke to visits HB regularly, and she said exactly what is said above.
Don't worry about it!
From Johnny Marascalco
The Hebden Bridge community hardly influences how the town develops, it mostly influences how the town should not develop.
And I cannot see where any satisfaction can be drawn from seeing ladbrokes empty most of the time. A company of that scale are unlikely to be interested in the relative success of a particular location, so long as they continue to make profit overall and that broader strategic goals being met by it's presence.
Johnny, Ladbrokes are a business, whether a chain or not, If an outlet is making a loss, it would not remain open. Anyway, enough was said about Ladbrokes, all I think is that if a Company wants to develop, whether it be by opening in Hebden Bridge or otherwise, they will try their hardest to do so, nothing anyone says or does will change that fact.
From Johnny Marascalco
By your logic, any business or outlet that was in a loss-making situation would be immediately closed down. That simply does not happen.
From Danny Thompson
I have to disagree with Johnny M. Companies, even very large ones, close outlets when they aren't profitable. As demonstrated here
From Johnny Marascalco
Yes Danny, very impressive.
That is one example, compared with many thousands of companies and outlets which report losses and yet continue to trade. My point is that it is not as black and white as is being suggested here.
Following the reasoning suggested by some people in this thread, if Ladbrokes were "empty most of the time" then surely it would be unable to turn a profit, and if businesses must and always close unprofitable outlets, then it would be closed already. Which it clearly is not.
Posted by Andrew Hall
I have to agree with Johnny on this one. Ladbrokes have a prime site in Hebden Bridge, advertising, in particular, their Internet betting facilities. They are probably not too concerned if the shop isn't covering its costs directly. Think of it, if you like, as a rather expensive billboard, but a billboard that is rapidly appreciating in value. They ain't stupid!
This thread was opened with Tesco Express in Hebden Bridge? I can reassure you, that there is not currently any plans to open an Express Store in Hebden Bridge.
From Peter Ford
When did Hebden Bridge get the title the town of independent shops? I remember it used to be called the Pennine Centre.
I would welcome any Supermarket wishing to take over the fire station site. Competition is the way of the world outside Hebden Bridge so why not here?
The supermarkets in the town at present are of a very poor quality and are not that competitive on price. A Tesco or Marks and Spencer would Instantly improve the standard of goods and prices available to the local community.
This is the 21st centuary yet we still find Luddites in our midst!
From Rev Tony Buglass
Andrew is right - Ladbrokes knew they were onto a good thing, which is why they fought for the site. It isn't just about direct profit and loss, but about indirect benefit. It is also about time - any company will allow a certain amount of loss if it is likely that in time they will turn things round and make a profit. If they consistently make a loss, and there is no other indirect benefit from being there, they will sell up and go where they will make a profit. It's far too early for Ladbrokes to make that sort of judgement on that site.