Battle is on for survival of road’s smaller shops in London Road from Southend to Leigh

Echo: Battle is on for survival of road’s smaller shops Battle is on for survival of road’s smaller shops

SHOPKEEPERS fear the growing number of supermarkets in London Road is killing business for independent traders.

A total of 16 grocery stores cram into just over three miles between Sainsbury’s in Southend town centre and a Tesco Express opposite Cottesmore Gardens, Leigh.

Plans for another store on the site of the former Toomey Nissan showroom opposite Chalkwell Park, Westcliff, have also been submitted to Southend Council, prompting traders have questioned whether London Road can support another store.

Nilesh Patel, manager of Sweet News in London Road, Leigh, said: “There are too many.

The problem is,I don’t know how they get planning permission.

“The big boys just come inand throw money around.

“It’s killing the businesses. In today’s climate everyone is struggling.”

Smaller stores such as Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local hit corner shops hardest as they offer the same convenience, but the large chains’ buying power means they can undercut independents.

Mr Patel said: “Sometimes we can’t compete with the supermarket prices.I don’t know how they can afford it.

“I go to my cash and carry and the prices are more expensive than in the supermarket.”

Nearby convenience store Day 1 closed down after a Tesco Express opened a few hundred yards away and Mukesh Patel, 56, who has run London House Supermarket near the Toomey site for 15 years fears he will have to close if the new store gets the green light.

Ariraj Thangarasa, owner of off licence Pints and Litres, opposite Day 1, said: “It’s affecting our business. They do offers periodically.

“Over the road they closed their shop because they couldn’t compete.

“I bought this business four months back. The owner was struggling because of the competition.”

For independent shopkeepers not in competition with smaller supermarkets the stores are a mixed blessing. Sometimes they offer vital parking and can boost passing trade, but some customers simply park up and leave after visiting the supermarket.

Independent corner shops are more likely to attract customers on foot, traders said.

Mike Whittaker, 55, owner of shop Runners Edge, which is a few yards from the Toomey site, said: “For us it would be a good thing, but for the sweet shop down there it wouldn’t help them so much.

“Everyone is more likely to come past our door to go to Sainsbury’s or Tesco.”

Ilan Sisso, manager of Belinda James Florist, in London Road, Leigh, said: “We need more people passing by and supporting shops.”

Comments (3)

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3:15pm Tue 25 Jun 13

Jubilation says...

The smaller traders, need to lower their greedy high prices, as Tesco is brill, as for the moans, put up and shut up
The smaller traders, need to lower their greedy high prices, as Tesco is brill, as for the moans, put up and shut up Jubilation

6:00pm Tue 25 Jun 13

Nebs says...

When Tesco have one of their special offers, selling something at or below cost just to get you through the door, go in and buy the lot.Put a big notice in your window and then sell it at the same price in your shop to get people through your door.
When Tesco have one of their special offers, selling something at or below cost just to get you through the door, go in and buy the lot.Put a big notice in your window and then sell it at the same price in your shop to get people through your door. Nebs

1:20pm Wed 26 Jun 13

sav25 says...

Tescos offer a good service, good reward scheme, quality (and in date) products and competitive prices. The other retailers in this are do not, and are no longer getting away with their high prices because the big boys have stepped in. I admit they do have greater buying power and there is some unfairness in this. However, do I buy a old apple from the fly-ridden asian mini-markets in Westcliff, or pop to Tesco for a fresh and clean piece of fruit....?
Tescos offer a good service, good reward scheme, quality (and in date) products and competitive prices. The other retailers in this are do not, and are no longer getting away with their high prices because the big boys have stepped in. I admit they do have greater buying power and there is some unfairness in this. However, do I buy a old apple from the fly-ridden asian mini-markets in Westcliff, or pop to Tesco for a fresh and clean piece of fruit....? sav25

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