Saturday 15 January 2011

Sainsburys for Llandeilo?

I see in today's Evening Post that Sainsbury's are planning to build a 25,000 sq ft store in Llandeilo, well, just outside Llandeilo of course, along with petrol station, etc. It will be just off the Rhosmaen roundabout towards Carmarthen. The arguments for and against big supermarkets and their effect on small market towns are much documented and not doubt that this proposal will have it's fair share of opponents and supporters. Some will be horrified and some delighted.
The big supermarkets have a new tactic in small towns; they state that a new store will prevent people from travelling to larger towns to supermarkets and will attract shoppers to the existing, local, high street retailers. This is nonsense, Llandeilo has one small 'high street' three existing small supermarkets and a garage serving a population of around 2500 and the surrounding rural areas. The siting of the proposed Sainsbury's is roughly a mile from the nearest shop. The effect on Llandeilo's existing retailers will undoubtedly be devastating -apart from anything else, who's going to pay the ever inflating charges in the council run car park when free parking and convenience beckons a mile away?
And as these 'big four' supermarkets nestle into the more rural parts of Carmarthenshire it means that even more of the money spent in Wales will go straight over the Severn Bridge and beyond.
I daresay the arguments will intensify as the proposal moves into the planning application stage and I should imagine the financial inducements to the council will ensure it enjoys it's full support.
It may also explain why suggestions to the council to site the new secondary school to replace Pantecelyn and Tregib here were dismissed some time ago! That, subject to flooding, will be in Ffairfach.


Anonymous said...

Ok so all negative points covered here, how about the positives:
an increase in employment opportunities:
i.e. providing construction work for local trades due to initial build.
The store and petrol station would provide a large number of employment opportunities.
Competitively priced fuel.
Sainsbury's is one of the more luxurious supermarket brands, further raising Llandeilo's high profile.
Currently the nearest Sainsburys to Llandeilo is in Gorseinon. The store would therefore attract a lot of the neighbouring towns and will increase the footflow to Llandeilo it self (Llandeilo high street offers more than just 3 small supermarkets ie. fashion stores, luxury cafe's, hair salons, newsagents, toy shops, home furnishing stores, butchers, pubs and restaurants)

Overall, Llandeilo would greatly benefit from this well known, luxury brand being in the town it self.

caebrwyn said...

Thanks for your comment and hopefully it will spark some debate. As I said, opinions will be divided. I disagree with your statement that there will be an increase of 'footflow' to the high street, the site is too far away, it would not be 'in the town'. Sainsburys will, eventually, sell all the items you mention under one roof. Construction jobs will be temporary and the employment opportunities will help those who have been squeezed out of business.
You wouldn't happen to be PR for Sainsburys would you?!...

Anonymous said...

Sainsbury is a prestigious supermarket and would provide some job opportunities - many of them low paid. It would kill off the high street and you cannot argue any other way as numerous other cases would attest. Supermarkets are buying their way through Council approval and bulldozing through any planning hoops that small local business has to jump through. I say no to the proposal

Anonymous said...

If there has to be yet another supermarket in Llandeilo, Sainsbury would indeed fit in with the quality of other shops in the town, but this is NOT 'in the town' and, most importantly, would it stop at Sainsburys? My main concern is, as has happened all over the country, sites such as this begin with one shop and quickly grow into large 'out of town' developments and, the proposed site and its surrounding land is certainly large enough to accommodate such a monster. Then the town dies. At the moment Llandeilo is a very individual shopping town and a joy to visit. Let's keep it that way!

Anonymous said...

Simply put, would you prefer to see a field or a copycat supermarket with no personality?

responding to the so-called positive points listed above:

1) An increase in employment opportunities: I've worked in a supermarket and its not fun nor good for the soul. If you wish for fellow members of your community to waste their potential working in a faceless, corporate, soul-draining environment, then you have a peculiar outlook on life as a whole. I presume you wouldn't want to work there!

2) Providing construction work for local trades: perhaps, but this would be short-term and we'd be left with a permanent fixture that would only serve to destroy some of the unique aspects that make Llandeilo what it is today. Town independence and character should be preserved, not endangered for the sake of saving a few pennies and your own convenience.

3) Sainsbury's is one of the more luxurious supermarket brands: What utter nonsense and why would you defend a brand when there are more important things in life to concern yourself with? Do your research: Sainsbury's is just as evil as the other large supermarket chains. All they care about is profit rather than people's health and well-being (otherwise, they wouldn't be in business). It sells questionable food that's unnecessarily wrapped in plastic and transported vast distances (when it could be sourced locally), they squeeze the life out of their suppliers because of their near-monopoly position...the list goes on. If you want my advice, use your garden to produce your own fruit & veg and don't be fooled by the hype.

4) The store would therefore attract a lot of the neighbouring towns and will increase the footflow to Llandeilo it self: ask yourself this, do you really want a forced hyper-busy town or would you prefer it to grow naturally? Why not expand the number of residential buildings and turn Llandeilo into a thriving retail city! Or better still, move to a city where a Sainsbury's already exists and leave Llandeilo to be what it is, a historical, untainted market town with a strong, friendly community.

Some people have everything backwards, and all for the sake of 2p less per litre. By the way, it's the tyrannical government that causes you to have higher fuel prices, so blame them rather than ruining your own town.

Anonymous said...

I've worked in retail (with several large UK chain stores) for 30 years and have travelled the UK extensively on business. In doing so I've surveyed the damage 'big retail' has delivered to towns and cities large and small with huge regret, as I've been party to their strategies over the years. Sainsburys, like the other big supermarket chains are 'vacuum cleaners' that will suck the life and profits from an area to hand over to shareholders largely focused in the City of London. Employment for local construction workers, competitively priced fuel, plenty of local jobs, quality food...if you believe their PR I'm sorry for you. Llandeilo has local independent butchers, bakers, supermarkets, cafes, delicatessences and general retailers who will largely disappear if this development is allowed, and for what? To be like every other town and city in the UK? I chose to live in Llandeilo because of its charm, its friendliness and the service provided by business owners who live alongside us in the community and reinvest in their community. 25 years ago I moved to a small town in England that had all that. Today its a wasteland left only with its small outlets for Sainsburys, M&S Food, Waitrose, Starbucks, Costa Coffee and charity shops. Consumers travel further afield to the larger out-of-town shops to seek 'more choice'. Its madness. I can carry out my entire weekly shopping in the town without the need to travel elsewhere and the last thing I believe Llandeilo needs is a Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, M&S or even, Waitrose. I'd urge the people of Llandeilo to think and act differently; avoid the corporate brain-washing and support, preserve and enjoy what we have today.

Anonymous said...

Lampeter has a sainsbury's it was opened july 2009. The amount of people that come to lampeter from the llandeilo area is very large. They also have a huge number come from Aberystwyth area and Cardigan way. Lampeter has not suffered, there is an increase of customers to the rest of the town. As you know Lampeter is a small town like LLandeilo it also has another supper market (co-op) again like llandeilo. Many people from the Lampeter area would travel miles to go shopping because of not being happy with the shopping choice. Now they shop in lampeter, go to the little local shops there and use the cafe's restaurants, and also save on fuel. All because Sainsbury's came to Lampeter. Would also like to say that the local farmers are really pleased with Sainsbury's as their meat, milk, cheese etc is stocked in the store, and not as a novelty but as part of their standard stock.
There's is a fine line when it comes to a chain coming to a small town, Sainsbury's has got it right in Lampeter and other small town's, so why would it be any different in LLandeilo? Those of you who can shop solely local are those in the higher income bracket, no matter what you say that is a fact, we with families on low incomes are struggling. We need and deserve a choice, and not be pushed into making do.

Anonymous said...

Following on from 15th Feb post - I don't think we can really compare Lampeter to Llandeilo. Lampeter arguably had nothing to loose from a large supermarket. Llandeilo is a different town with far more bespoke shops. It's charm brings in fat wallets from Swansea and Cardiff. This is what allows it to sustain the types of shops it has. If you start bringing in high street names, you'll kill off these shops and get another feature-less town. People need to be careful what they wish for - get Sainsbury's, open the flood gates to a whole bunch of clone high street names and watch your house prices fall as your desirable little town turns into another non-event! Sainsbury's won't bring choice and lower prices, they'll squash all competition and monopolise. Get real!

Anonymous said...

The Co-op? Ck's? Neither is local and both are grossly overpriced. Llandeilo needs more competition in food retail. I, like so many, travel to other towns to do the bulk of food shopping.

Anonymous said...

I agree with august 20th about prices overall in llandeilo and also the actual price of fuel, its outrageous to think that we have to travel afar for cheaper fuel and food prices and yes it is true that unless you are earning a packet price are far to much and i do wonder how they survive by charging the prices they do.


Anonymous said...

Since moving to the Llandeilo area, the only thing I miss is a quality supermarket with more choice than we have at the moment, the cost in fuel travelling to the larger stores impacts on my budget, I would dearly love a local Sainsburys, surely the foot-fall to the local shops would improve ? We need cheaper fuel than is currently on offer locally.

Anonymous said...

In response to "the only thing I miss is a quality supermarket with more choice than we have at the moment": Grow up! If you move to somewhere rural, like Llandeilo, then you shouldn't really expect the benefits that cities can bring, unless you wish for Llandeilo to become like a city, in which case, why on earth did you move here in the first place? Think, your convenience may be someone else's inconvenience.

Anonymous said...

In response to "its outrageous to think that we have to travel afar for cheaper fuel and food prices." No it's not, not by a long shot! You live in a rural area yet whine about missing the fringe benefits of living in a busy, unhealthy, overpopulated city. If you want to be rural and have cheaper food then grow your own in your back garden. If you want to remain rural and have cheaper fuel then switch to diesel and make your own bio/recycled diesel. Just because you don't have the imagination and energy to think not too far outside the box, doesn't mean the rest of us and the countryside should suffer.

Anonymous said...

To those people supporting the Sainsburys because it may provide marginally cheaper fuel prices: if fuel prices concern you then I dare say you regularly travel over 10 miles away from Llandeilo, in which case why don't you fill up in one of the larger towns where these big chains already exist e.g. Carmarthen, Cross Hands, Ammanford, etc. Just because you don't have the foresight to fill up your tank when you pass a cheaper petrol station, doesn't mean the rest of us should suffer.

Anonymous said...

(anon2) ah, but the co-op isn't a supermarket as such. even in ammanford the co-op has been graded to a large convenience store, and maybe that can be said about ck as well.. what is a supermarket if that is the case? a shop or should i say a large shop. then again, ck is a large shop even though it is ck supermarket.

does sainsbury in llandeilo actually need a petrol station? then again, pontardulais with their new tesco has a petrol station which tilts the balance towards them. did pontardulais need a tesco? for the size of populuation, they only had the co-op and people would have been going to llanelli or fforestfach/swansea, and if anything, people from pontlliw may well visit there rather than going to fforestfach's extra..

maybe a sainsbury in llandeilo would entice shoppers not to go to carmarthen anymore, saving on fuel. but as i mentioned before, llandeilo is not big enough to support 3 and runs a large risk.. ck has always been expensive as an independent store who may not have the opportunity to purchase in bulk as the other competitors do. if they had access to it, they could do it.. the coop is convenient for people nipping in around that vicinity. and a sainsbury will be out of the way for nipping in for a pint of milk or a loaf or nick nacks.

as for the employment side, the winners would be the developers providing short term. as for the long term store employment, that is debatable.. if three stores can operate in llandeilo, it will be a miracle. not forgetting pioneer in cross hands is not that old in comparison to ammanford. then again, crosshands had nothing until the near mid 80s. and neither did llandeilo come to think of it. cks came in the mid 80s as if i remember right, cks building was a car showroom previously,it could have been likely they were going to carmarthen or llandeilo. i don't recall a co-op shop being present in llandeilo. many villages had a co-op shop, two spring to my mind - tycroes, brynamman,and even gorslas just before crosshands had one. glanamman as well.

as for the condition that may have been attached to the land, apparently it was for agricultural employment. whether saome forms of retail are bypassing the term. we all know a shop is retail which depends on the product they sell. technically s ashop could sell milk, meat, anything from an agrictural background. if it was stipulated the land was for agricultural production, that is completely different, and it would be a good idea to find out exactly what that condition entailed.

in the early 70s, corner shops did start to get squeezed out.. funnily enough, there was a conversation last night about what used to be where. why did corner shops become instinct? they were local, handy. if they were closed, you could always knock the door.. obviously the number one suspect would be the opening of a supermarket somewhere. but was that the only reason? the other two points are how much they charged and also any business taxes they paid? they made a living but if prices were high because of business rates, it would be easier to point the finger at a council rather than a supermarket.. then again, the spar shop could be hit, i can't see someone walking down from new road all the way down to sainsbury to save 10p on a pint of milk. or worse still, even drive down as it would cost much more than that in fuel..but you never know what people would do and habits..

Anonymous said...

the evolution is the same now as it was then. is it a case of a big company swallowing up towns like tesco do? i wouldn't put it in the tescotown bracket personally. lucky in a way it wasn't morrisons as i find them a bit more expensive but not as much as the co-op.

then again, when i visted buith, all they had was the co-op so they have no choice but to shop there, or travel further up to llandindod wells.

would it affect the balance in llandeilo? it is easy to forecast but the rality is it cannot be told until it is up. speculation is easy, and being creatures of habit, nobody likes change.
if there was any furore, maybe it would have been better directed at ck's prices over the years that lead to sainsbury, even if they dangle a carrot with a shuttle service.
if people start doing daft things like buying a paper there, the newsagents would be hit. no doubt the petrol would be hit, and when petrol is a big income to sainsbury, but if people look at supermarket petrol and the octane reading, i cannot comment on what sainsbury put in the fuel, and people still buy from independent garages because they know they have got the additives that make the engine run smoother.. or buy some redex and put that in your tank!!

what is it all about? maybe it would have beeen better for a lidl or an aldi to open instead of a sainsbury. what will people save? it maybe a pound or two, or maybe a fiver..or it could be a tenner, and a fiver a week is a lot to some. even though i have a choice, i still visit the high street butcher - so tesco has not influenced me to change from there. but i do buy tesco mince rather than the butcher. but i could buy from the butcher instead of tesco as they do charge higher for the lean uk or irish mince beef, so i compromise and go for the value brand where i can get 800grammes for nearly two pounds rather than a more expensive 500grammes, which is more down to food production rather than intensive farming and tesco forcing the costs down by paying the farmer less.. i wouldn't purchase tesco frozen chicken breasts for example from tesco. what sainsbury is like, i don't know. fresh from the butcher is best even tough it costs a bit more but not that much more.

i would know that my weekly shop would be £2 to £3 more based on my tastes if i only go the co-op. if people are happy with spending in ck or co-op, why should they changed the habit?

(anon 2)