Small ads

Sainsbury's survey

From Paul Clarke

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Before anyone comes round and pelts my house with mung beans I should be clear I oppose the proposed Sainsbury's - mainly on the ground it will be hell for the people who live round there.

But I must take issue with the Sainsbury's basket shop on two grounds.

The first is that the anti-Sainsbury's group have fallen into the trap of thinking our Co-op is some some sort of little Ma and Pa operation. In fact it is part of the fifth biggest supermarket chain in the UK according to their own website.

With that sort of muscle it is not surprising that it can offer lower prices as it will operate in the same way Sainsbury's and the other big players do. We are fooled into thinking our Co-op is not part of a big operation as it is rubbish despite having an effective monopoly.

The other flaw on this survey is if we simply take price as the number one priority as one councillor stated, it is encouraging us to ignore Oasis and shop in an outlet of the fifth biggest supermarket chain.

I thought we were being encouraged to shop in smaller stores not with the big boys.

That said we don't another supermarket sending big lorries into a residential area at all hours but perhaps we could have a bit more rigor in the anti arguments as I support their cause.

From Anne H

Thursday, 13 February 2014

I think the survey confirms what I said in an earlier post - that Sainsbury, One Stop and Oasis are all pretty similar and will compete with each other. They are all convenience stores owned by national companies and the survey seems to suggest there will be little difference in price. If they are not going to offer anything that is not here already why do Sainsbury's even think they will be able to attract sufficient customers?

The Co-op, on the other hand, although they describe themselves as a convenience store (when they are trying to defend their poor stock control) they are in fact a small supermarket with a higher turnover than any of the other 3 will ever have. In addition to lower prices, the Co-op gives divi/points to members as well as frequent vouchers off your next shop - pretty much like larger supermarkets. It's just a pity they never have what you want and if they have it one week they don't usually have it the next week!

From Kez Armitage

Thursday, 13 February 2014

"Let there be no doubt, a new Sainsbury's 'Local' in Hebden Bridge, as well bringing traffic chaos and helping to destroy local jobs, character and vitality, will not be providing cheap food." (Save our Shops)

I have to take issue with the claim that a Sainsbury in Hebden Bridge will not provide cheap food. I don't know that, Sainsbury don't know that, so how the anti-Sainsbury lobby know that is a mystery. Go to any supermarket and you'll find that prices vary according to local conditions, essentially down to supply and demand. You simply can't go to a different town, survey prices there, and apply those prices to another place. Not only is it totally irrational, but if I were Sainsbury, I'd be thinking about getting the lawyers onto this unfounded and misleading claim.

Besides, Sainsbury in Halifax, as with all the other large supermarkets offer a price promise, refunding you if you could have bought your shopping cheaper locally. What's not to say that they won't apply this to a store in Hebden? As Anne H says, "If they are not going to offer anything that is not here already why do Sainsbury's even think they will be able to attract sufficient customers" Well it's got to be price.

Having said that, I, like Paul Clarke, am opposed to another supermarket in the centre of Hebden Bridge. But to blindly assert 'Let there be no doubt..' on the basis of a one-off price spot check smacks of desperation rather than objective reasoning. A supermarket will also create local jobs. Is there any evidence that the net effect will be less jobs? And what is meant by 'vitality'? If more people go to that part of town, surely the vitality won't be destroyed, it will increase!

OK I'm playing devil's advocate here, but it's important that any opposition to a Sainsbury in town is based on accurate and objective facts. Otherwise, you're simply discrediting yourself and playing into the multinationals' hands.

From Andrew B

Friday, 14 February 2014

"Whilst we are sure the nay-sayers will find fault with our method, we are sure the facts speak for themselves. Let there be no doubt, a new Sainsbury's 'Local' in Hebden Bridge, as well bringing traffic chaos and helping to destroy local jobs, character and vitality, will not be providing cheap food."

Can anyone confirm if the survey took into account multi-buy offers/discounts? It makes interesting reading but that's about it, we still need competition and people will vote with their cash, if you don't want it don't use it!

I didn't want the monstrosity of a Town Hall extension (traffic problems, deliveries and customer parking), loss of existing wedding venues business (unfair competition) etc etc blah blah, quite similar to the 'objections' suggested by Save our Shops, but it's there. I just choose not to use it.

From Gary W

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Please could the tiny number of the No More Supermarkets/Development folk (compared to the thousands of people who would vote with their feet and shop at any new supermarket) do another survey? Why don't you compare the prices of our local monopoly position Co-op with a basket of good from the Lidl and Morrisons supermarkets in Todmorden?

From Nina Smith

Monday, 17 February 2014

Re Anne H's comment that Oasis is owned by a national company. I don't think this is the case, as "Nisa stores are independently owned retail outlets operated throughout the UK." (from Nisa's website). I assume therefore, that Oasis is a local independent trader - and a jolly good one at that. Their deli offer is excellent, with a number of items not available anywhere else in Hebden Bridge. If Oasis were to close due to competition from Sainsbury's, we would lose a lot of choice and gain little or no benefit in terms of the consumer offer.

From Anne H

Monday, 17 February 2014

You're right Nina. I take your point that Oasis is not comparable with other national chains. And it does offer something different, so maybe leave them out of the comparison.

Also, on looking at the planning application again I see that the proposed Sainsbury's Local will be quite a bit bigger than the one in Mytholmroyd and the prices at the existing one might not be a reasonable guide to the prices at the planned one.

Not that the survey results can really be taken very seriously as pointed out by other posters. There are other things to consider such as multi-buy offers, the quality and variety of the produce on offer etc.

From Jenny B

Monday, 17 February 2014

I am quite surprised that our small independents feel 'threatened' by the possibility of a small supermarket. The Pot shop, Jules China and Polka Dot all seem to trade in similar goods successfully despite bring less than 100 yards apart.

The only stores I can think of that may be affected are our bakers who for some obscure reason don't open on a Saturday, and our greengrocer.

In varying out my own friends and family survey (therefore using similar numbers as the SOS one) most people would like a Sainsburys. No doubt the mung bean brigade will win again, objecting strongly whilst popping in to the M&S locals for a dine in for 2 special at their commute station .

From Susi Harris

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

If you want to know why small independent shops are scared of big supermarkets (but not other small independent shops) have a look at the SOS website - I am quoting them here as this seems a well-researched piece.

Subheading: supermarkets harm independent shops through anti-competitive practices against the public interest

Although Dr Thorpe's research [cited earlier in the piece] used data from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, the patterns that he identified have also been found in later periods. In 2005 the Advisory Committee for Consumer Products and the Environment accepted evidence that supermarkets harm independent shops.

A 2006 Defra study, Economic Note on UK Grocery Retailing, identified mechanisms whereby supermarkets harm independent shops.

People who buy into the supermarkets' ideology believe that when supermarkets drive independent shops out of business, this is an example of competition at work, to the benefit of the economy at large and to customers in particular.

But the 2006 Defra study, Economic Note on UK Grocery Retailing, reports that this is an example of anti-competitive behaviour, made possible by supermarkets' monopolistic control of supply chains. This has narrowed the supply base for independent shops and

"may limit consumer choice by undermining the viability of alternative business models (such as wholesaler-supplied convenience stores)".

The 2006 Defra study also notes that supermarkets' entry into convenience stores has aroused fears in the Association of Convenience Stores that:

this may put further pressure on suppliers to sell at a low price to supermarkets, so that suppliers are forced to charge higher prices to independent retailers and that "supermarket buyer power could undermine the viability of the wholesale distribution network serving independent stores."

The government recently appointed a Groceries Code Adjudicator to enforce the 2010 Groceries Supply Code of Practice, brought in to tackle supermarket's anti-competitive practices in the supply chain. It remains to be seen whether this will solve the problem.

The Competition Commission identified other anti-competitive supermarket practices in 2000. The CC found that some supermarket pricing practices "gave rise to a complex monopoly situation…and also operated against the public interest."

Specifically, it found that "…the practice of persistent below-cost selling when conducted by Asda, Morrison, Safeway, Sainsbury and Tesco, ie those parties with market power, operates against the public interest."

Basically we need to think a bit wider - and include what effects supermarkets have on the people that supply goods to them and the independent shops and we need to think longer term - once the supermarkets close the independent shops down they can reduce choice and raise prices as much as they like as we won't have any choice!

From Lizzie W

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Just an aside; but I rather enjoy the 'quirkiness' (& isn't that what Hebden Bridge is famous for) of Waites the Confectioners not opening on Saturdays in addition to their closing for the traditional Wakes weeks holiday (the only time of the year that I manage to lose some weight)

They close on Saturday's as this business is not some faceless factory production line but involves a local Master Craftsman at work producing the scrummy delights that those of us in the know are completely addicted to. Of course he has to some time off & personally I've no problem with this as at least it gives me a couple of pie free days a week when I can try to fit in a few salads & vegetables, just for balance you understand & not for taste & enjoyment!

I honestly believe that you will not find finer confectionary anywhere! (OK, apart from the Vanilla Slices - but that's a whole specialised subject that I haven't time to debate here)

Shops of this quality have no need to fear any competition whatsoever from a supermarket. For those who may be worried; dare I suggest, up your game!

From Dave R

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

I for one would like a small town centre Sainsbury's. I would prefer a large Booth's on the Brown site given the option, but a Sainsbury's will do me for now.

I don't/won't shop in the Coop, the One Stop is fine as a convenience store but that is all and Oasis is still in the majority an off-licence (darned good one).

I also know that Sainsbury's do a mean vanilla slice.

From Helen Taylor

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Speak as you find, by all means, and if you use Oasis primarily for buying drink, go for it, but I regard Oasis as an excellent little convenience supermarket, in a very convenient central location, which is exactly why I don't think there is a need another just 100-odd metres away. I very much agree with previous posters on this thread - it's important that's it's run by a franchisee, who by definition has a much greater interest in the locality than a giant chain, and who is frankly doing a really good job of giving us a true local convenience store.

They have a decent fresh produce section and stock a substantial range of fresh/ready meals, often made by smaller manufacturers and, importantly, sometimes local manufacturers - I'm obviously thinking of the fantastic curries, made in Halifax! - and their grocery range is wide. Plus a a good offy to boot.

By comparison with the samey offerings from the major chain convenience stores, the goods at Oasis are refreshingly carefully thought out and of good quality. All in all, an excellent 'local'. From the survey done by SOS Hebden, they are also quite likely to be cheaper than the big competitors, so well done, Oasis. If we end up with a Sainsbury's local too, they really won't be doing anything any better.

From Nina Smith

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Re Oasis, I agree about the excellent East-West curries. I'd also recommend the range of dips and similar from Delphi; my favourite houmous and tsatziki, and the only guacamole I like. I don't know anywhere else where these can be bought locally - years ago I would buy them at a shop near Kings Cross station if I was in London! Oasis also sell great kippers, although if I'm around I buy mine from the very excellent Paul, the mobile fishmonger who comes to the Thursday market (and is at Tod market on Fridays).

As far as sausages are concerned, do try Stephen Maskell's venison ones if you haven't already. Yummy!

From Paul Clarke

Friday, 21 February 2014

I want to register my objection to the Sainsbury's store but as I understand planning law 'sticking it to The Man' doesn't quite cut it.

Can anyone suggest how I can make my objection have more impact by actually making an objection based on the planning regs?

My main objection is the traffic chaos delivery lorries will cause round there and the noise local residents will have to endure.

Any suggestions welcome.


From Nina Smith

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Paul, traffic/access issues, and noise pollution are both legitimate planning issues. So do get your objection in! You can do it on-line. Go the Calderdale Council Planning website, and type in the application number 13/01542/FUL

From Jenny B

Sunday, 23 February 2014

I do wonder why the fire station was ever allowed to be in this little oasis of calm slap bang in the middle of a traditionally industrial area! The number of trouser manufacturers based in factories in the area must have had deliveries by horse and cart. The large medical centre, chemist, car repair workshops, petrol station mustn't generate any traffic either.
Surely people did a bit of research before they purchased their twee little terraced houses built for mill workers. Didn't they?

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Thanks Nina. Will do it later.

Putting aside the arguments about shopping local I dread to think of the chaos big lorries dropping off at that site will cause.

Totally the wrong place for a store like this.

From Graham Barker

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Traffic along Valley Road and Hangingroyd Lane is already bad and getting steadily worse. In a year or so the new apartments on Victoria Road will generate yet more, as will the vile, hideous, white elephant in waiting Calrec extension. The health centre is also likely to get busier. That's not counting more drivers looking for free parking spaces, and more delivery vehicles of every description.

We don't need Sainsbury's to add to that, especially is it will be basically just a cuckoo in the nest. We've already got convenience stores and anyone who believes Sainsbury's will significantly reduce the cost of their shopping is kidding themselves.

A question for those who want more choice (and thus a Sainsbury's): when will you be willing to say 'OK, you can stop giving me more choice now, I've got enough'?

The reality is that if you live in a small town and want to minimise your shopping bill, you have to put some effort into it. You can shop around online and have stuff delivered, or you can shop around by travelling a few miles, or you can move to a larger town or city with better choice. We're fortunate in already having a good choice on our doorstep, but there has to be a limit to what can reasonably be provided very locally.

From Dave R

Monday, 24 February 2014

Totally disagree with that condescending 'move if you don't like it attitude'.

I did move away from my home town. I saw life, I too lived in inner cities, in rural villages and small towns. Throughout this time, I visited Hebden to see family.

I saw the change from mucky, dusty industrial mill town, the decline in manufacturing, the loss of our independent shop - cobblers, butchers, greengrocers, bakers, clothes shops, toy shops were in abundance not isolation.

Then came the revival, some attribute to new life from the 'hippy settlers'. I would say this was more to do with David Fletcher's vision than that.

We evolved back into a small bustling town, but instead of shops selling what we need - we have a large proportion selling what is deemed to to be pretty or a gift/memento for day trippers.

Before, I get shot down in flames I do know that we have clothes shops, book shop, pot shops too. But what the objectors to this or indeed it often seems, any progress, don't get is that we locals who live and/or work in the town, don't want to move. We want our town to meet our needs. I would go so far as to suggest that those who seem to feel that a small convenience store is going to mean the end of their world as they know it, put themselves in the shoes of the retired, the not well off, the single families, the sick and unemployed and look at the cost in money and time of travelling 'a few miles' to shop for basics.

This selfish attitude stinks of Nimbyism, and to to hide behind traffic increases when the proposed site is, as someone else says, in the middle of an area that is mainly industrial is narrow minded. I think those that suggest that those of us who don't like their objections, look at the real history of our little mill town. Sandblasted and pedestrianised it may be, but industry, be it tourism, retail or manufacturing, brings employment locally for local people. Local people who don't want to commute for 4 hours per day, and who want to live in their town of birth.

From Martin F

Monday, 24 February 2014

I don't particularly want a Sainsbury's on the old Fire Station site for many of the reasons given by contributors.

However, as the survey has chosen to include the Sainsbury store in Mytholmroyd which, as far as I am concerned, is only reachable from Hebden Bridge by bus or car, why doesn't the survey also include Lidl and Morrisons in Todmorden?

To make the price survey (more) credible I would like to see the Sainsbury store taken out and the inclusion of brand-names, or the mention of own brand where applicable.

From Martha F

Saturday, 8 March 2014

What is the fuss all about? Why not have a Sainsburys in Hebden Bridge? They stock a lovely selection of foods, especially their West Country Farmhouse cheddar. We could do with a local type Waitrose too. May be knock the Hole in the Wall down and that would be a great spot for a Waitrose.

See also

Save our Shops supermarket survey

HebWeb Forum: Sainsbury's and Tesco's (Dec 2013-Feb 2014)

HebWeb News: Sainsbury's plans now online (30 Jan 2014)

HebWeb News: Protests as Town Council discusses the Sainsburys bid (8 Jan 2014)