London’s worst new Tesco
From Comment, Words
posted on March 8th, 2013

Loughborough Junction is a poor neighbourhood but a buzzing community. It’s one of London’s in-between places; halfway between Brixton and Camberwell down the Coldharbour Lane. You can walk there from Brixton in 10 minutes and post-Olympics its railway station is busy. I go there a lot because One Cat Studio is there, where I make most of my music. The more you get to know it, the more vibrant it feels: plans flying around recently for renewal.

The last thing they needed was a Tesco mini-market. There are already a thriving bunch of local food markets that keep eachothers’ prices competitive. There are already other branches of Sainsburys, Tesco and the rest within 15 minutes. This is a Tesco opened not for the weekly shop but specifically where it isn’t useful; where the company can siphon a load of money out of a circular day-to-day local pedestrian economy, onto its own balance sheet.

And it opened last month in basically the worst location possible: on a tricky bend in the main road. It’s not glass-fronted nor welcoming; it looks threatened by the area it landed it. It looks like a bank.

Tesco (as per) over-rode significant local opposition, opened directly opposite a long-running independent mini-mart which has instantly shut and the company isn’t even bothering to fix its own smashed windows from disgruntled locals.

But the worst thing is this: there was just one possible benefit from a new Tesco: a free cashpoint. There are none within a 15 minute walk, so several pricey paid ATMs live along this stretch of road, ripping off locals. Tesco apparently decided not to put in a cashpoint because it would cause traffic congestion. Yet the store’s unloading lorries are causing a huge logjam each time, that fouls up a busy through-route on a risky bend and stretches back towards Brixton.

Piss poor effort, Tesco.



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