Superstore bid: New study highlights the likely losers
A BULLISH report on prospects for Soham’s proposed 41,000 square foot Kingfisher superstore at The Shade reveals that Tesco at Ely and Newmarket has the most to lose.
An updated retail assessment presented to East Cambridgeshire planners show that it would take up to �10 million a year in convenience food sales from both stores.
The report says that in terms of turn over, it will represent “a diversion of 16 per cent of the Tesco food store at Angel Drive, Ely and 12.9 per cent of the Tesco food store at Newmarket”.
But of both Tesco stores the report notes these are “out of centre stores and any trade diversions from such outlets is a product of competition and therefore immaterial in planning terms.
“In any event these stores are large and trade very well and we would not expect such levels of trade diversion to have any impact on their continued operation.”
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The report says trade diversion from other convenience and comparison goods stores in Ely and Newmarket “is extremely small scale and immaterial in retail planning terms”.
The report has been commissioned by Fen based Harrier Developments who say the “operator of the proposed (Soham) supermarket cannot yet be named.”
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Their application is expected before the planning committee early in the New Year and if consent is given believe the new store could open in 2014.
Harrier claim the Kingfisher Centre “will complement the development of the extended town centre Budgens store” and will have only “a limited impact on the store’s overall performance”.
Likewise Soham Co-operative’s projected �3.2million turn over, even with Kingfisher open, will remain “at substantially above company average levels.”
Harrier insists the Kingfisher development “is not of a scale which would detract from the vitality and viability” of Soham town centre but what it would do is produce substantial new investment and new jobs.
“The proposed food store will promote competition and enhance consumer choice,” says Harrier.