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Tesco’s takeover of The Castle pub in Midanbury sparks Southampton trader threat

By Matt Smith

12:51pm Monday 8th October 2012

Tesco’s pub takeover sparks trader threat

HUNDREDS of residents and traders have a launched a campaign against another Southampton pub being turned into a new Tesco store.

About 50 protesters gathered outside The Castle pub in Midanbury to hand a 600- name petition to Itchen MP John Denham, who is backing the campaign.

Tesco has acquired a lease to the pub, which closed last month, and plans to open a new Express store next year.

It does not need planning consent for change of use.

Traders at the nearby Midanbury Broadway parade at Witts Hill fear it will ruin their livelihoods and cost jobs.

Tesco says it will consult the community before pressing ahead with its plans and claims a new store will boost trade.

Several Southampton pubs including the Bulls Eye in Butts Road, Sholing, the Winning Post in Peartree Avenue, and Woodman in Coxford Road, have recently been converted into convenience stores.

Amit Sonchhatia, from SNA Premier Store in Witts Hill, said about 30 people were employed at shops along the parade, including his own store, a bakery, post office, and Co-op. There is also a chippy and a pizza outlet.

Mr Sonchhatia said: “It’s a big worry for the local community and traders. If business cuts down people are fearing they will be laid off.

Tesco might create 12 jobs but you could lose 25. The bakers will be majorly affected.”

He said there were already five Tesco stores within a one-mile radius and said the retail giant was creating a “monopoly” of local trade.

He added residents were also concerned about road safety from delivery lorries.

Ann Stevens from the Midanbury Bakery said: “We don’t feel we need a Tesco here. We’ve already got everything you could want here. It could shut the whole parade down.”

Mr Denham said: “The community is saying no to pubs being turned into shops.

“It is particularly concerning when Tesco already has several outlets in the immediate surrounding area.

“It would be dreadful if the competition from Tesco were to damage the parade and mean the loss of local businesses, many of which have been there for many years.”

He added: “I’m sad every time I see another pub close in Southampton. The Castle is one of far too many public houses that have closed in the city. Every time this happens we lose an important hub for the local community.”

Enterprise Inns confirmed it had sold the pub,.

Tesco told the Echo: "We can confirm that we have taken a lease and we will be writing shortly to residents, retailers and councillors to outline our exciting plans.

“Express stores are very popular with local customers and communities.”

Comments(35)

Comments(35)

G0Rf says...
1:14pm Mon 8 Oct 12

I know nobody wants another tesco, it wont be long before tesco will own all local stores and they will be able to charge what they want and we wont have a choce!

"He added residents were also concerned about road safety from delivery lorries"

How did the pub get its beer delivered?
How do all of the other shops on the parade get their goods delivered?

lorries a bit of a poor excuse!

Here, There says...
1:37pm Mon 8 Oct 12

What do they want ? If it were a developer screams of not more flats blah blah, some wanted the pub closed due to trouble ?? Do they expect the land owner just to sit on it ??? If the community had used the pub this situation would not have arisen, once open they will use the Tesco end masses and yes even some in this photo

Here, There says...
1:39pm Mon 8 Oct 12

En masse !!

St Retford says...
1:40pm Mon 8 Oct 12

People just don't have the money to go to the pub that often. They'd rather buy their booze from Tescos and sit drinking at home while watching the telly. Then they spend all day at work talking about last night's telly. It's like a circle that cannot be broken unless pints are brought down to a sensible price.

Jeff Le Taxi says...
1:55pm Mon 8 Oct 12

bet i could have gotten more PRO Tesco signatures than 600 in ONE day!

Georgem says...
2:20pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Here, There wrote:
What do they want ? If it were a developer screams of not more flats blah blah, some wanted the pub closed due to trouble ?? Do they expect the land owner just to sit on it ??? If the community had used the pub this situation would not have arisen, once open they will use the Tesco end masses and yes even some in this photo
This is the bottom line, isn't it? Very well put.

Mr. Miyagi says...
2:34pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Georgem wrote:
Here, There wrote:
What do they want ? If it were a developer screams of not more flats blah blah, some wanted the pub closed due to trouble ?? Do they expect the land owner just to sit on it ??? If the community had used the pub this situation would not have arisen, once open they will use the Tesco end masses and yes even some in this photo
This is the bottom line, isn't it? Very well put.
Locals always say NO to Tesco opening a new store near them and that its not needed, but have you ever gone into a Tesco and found it empty of customers? Like others have said, it will be used by all in the area. Local shops will suffer, which is a shame, but you can't beat value for money shopping with local sympathy.

Georgem says...
2:57pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Mr. Miyagi wrote:
Georgem wrote:
Here, There wrote:
What do they want ? If it were a developer screams of not more flats blah blah, some wanted the pub closed due to trouble ?? Do they expect the land owner just to sit on it ??? If the community had used the pub this situation would not have arisen, once open they will use the Tesco end masses and yes even some in this photo
This is the bottom line, isn't it? Very well put.
Locals always say NO to Tesco opening a new store near them and that its not needed, but have you ever gone into a Tesco and found it empty of customers? Like others have said, it will be used by all in the area. Local shops will suffer, which is a shame, but you can't beat value for money shopping with local sympathy.
Amusingly, the same nay-sayers also cry foul whenever someone wants to build more residential property in their neighbourhood. Forgetting, of course, the boost that more residents will bring to the same local traders that they claim to care so much about.

Tone says...
2:58pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Mr. Miyagi wrote:
Georgem wrote:
Here, There wrote:
What do they want ? If it were a developer screams of not more flats blah blah, some wanted the pub closed due to trouble ?? Do they expect the land owner just to sit on it ??? If the community had used the pub this situation would not have arisen, once open they will use the Tesco end masses and yes even some in this photo
This is the bottom line, isn't it? Very well put.
Locals always say NO to Tesco opening a new store near them and that its not needed, but have you ever gone into a Tesco and found it empty of customers? Like others have said, it will be used by all in the area. Local shops will suffer, which is a shame, but you can't beat value for money shopping with local sympathy.
Value for money? Have you actually been into a Tesco Express? They don't sell their loss leaders there unlike the big Tescos, local shops are often cheaper.

Nicole23 says...
4:07pm Mon 8 Oct 12

I dont really understand the appeal of tesco express.You know you go in there and they dont have a good selection of anything worthwile except sweets,pop and crisps.
A few sad looking overpriced vegetables,sausages or a packet of bacon for £3.50 because the things you actually need are always their finest (joke) range.
And then you join the queue for the one till that is open because they only ring the buzzer for help when the queue reaches critical mass.
Or you stupidly decide to use the self service tills, where is the bar code?
Unauthorised item in bagging area,please wait for authorisation,item removed from bagging area Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
!!!!
At the end of the day you vote with your feet,I just want decent service thats why i dont shop at Tesco's.

Georgem says...
4:12pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Nicole23 wrote:
I dont really understand the appeal of tesco express.You know you go in there and they dont have a good selection of anything worthwile except sweets,pop and crisps.
A few sad looking overpriced vegetables,sausages or a packet of bacon for £3.50 because the things you actually need are always their finest (joke) range.
And then you join the queue for the one till that is open because they only ring the buzzer for help when the queue reaches critical mass.
Or you stupidly decide to use the self service tills, where is the bar code?
Unauthorised item in bagging area,please wait for authorisation,item removed from bagging area Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

!!!!
At the end of the day you vote with your feet,I just want decent service thats why i dont shop at Tesco's.
#firstworldproblems

Fatty x Ford Worker says...
4:20pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Ah shucks all them Hills no where to go for a quicky then!

aldermoorboy says...
4:26pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Tesco's opened recently in Lordswood in the old Woodman pub, when I go there it is always busy, this is what people want a great local shop.
Tesco is a great British success story employing over 500,000 around the world, stop knocking our successful companies, they pay huge amounts of tax to help run our hospitals etc.
Let the people choose, that's competition.

mooky9 says...
5:11pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Jeff Le Taxi wrote:
bet i could have gotten more PRO Tesco signatures than 600 in ONE day!
Yep I would have signed it. The pub was a hole and always empty or having the police rock up. The shops are overpriced and poorly stocked and the bakery ran out of cakes by 2.30pm today. So rather than moan pull your socks up and give decent produce at a decent price and people won't have a need for tesco. But until then tough

Frank28 says...
5:20pm Mon 8 Oct 12

All over the country, Tesco have always got what they've wanted, with the aid of smart lawyers, and unlimited financial backing behind them. Will the Bookies be offering any odds that the pub won't become a Tesco Express?

Georgem says...
5:21pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Frank28 wrote:
All over the country, Tesco have always got what they've wanted, with the aid of smart lawyers, and unlimited financial backing behind them. Will the Bookies be offering any odds that the pub won't become a Tesco Express?
Unlimited financial backing? Really? If I had access to unlimited finances, the last thing I'd waste my time doing would be opening more stores.

SaintM says...
5:28pm Mon 8 Oct 12

If John Denham s on your side you have already lost, he will convert to the other side once he knows it will happen. He has never helped anyone in this area

Nicole23 says...
5:33pm Mon 8 Oct 12

The smoking ban caused all this.

skin2000 says...
5:37pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Nicole23 wrote:
I dont really understand the appeal of tesco express.You know you go in there and they dont have a good selection of anything worthwile except sweets,pop and crisps.
A few sad looking overpriced vegetables,sausages or a packet of bacon for £3.50 because the things you actually need are always their finest (joke) range.
And then you join the queue for the one till that is open because they only ring the buzzer for help when the queue reaches critical mass.
Or you stupidly decide to use the self service tills, where is the bar code?
Unauthorised item in bagging area,please wait for authorisation,item removed from bagging area Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

!!!!
At the end of the day you vote with your feet,I just want decent service thats why i dont shop at Tesco's.
Very true

Here, There says...
5:51pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Nicole23 wrote:
The smoking ban caused all this.
Nonsense...apathy contributed greatly to it not only from the community but from those who run the Pub and as highlighted above those who run the shops..you have to make it attractive to your existing and potential customer to buy from you, decent product at reasonable prices is not too much to ask for, providing a safe and clean environment for people to drink in will win every time even if you have to stand under a heated shelter for you puff !

D.a.v.e says...
5:52pm Mon 8 Oct 12

The baker is living in the past. In order to be profitable you have to compete.
This could their opportunity to capatalize on the increased trade coming into the area.
Buy a van to sell more but the least they could do is refubish.

10 Minute Man says...
6:12pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Time to up your game, create a Midanbury loyalty card etc etc, and make sure you are not competing on Tesco's strengths because you will lose and go bust !

andysaints007 says...
6:17pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Jeff Le Taxi wrote:
bet i could have gotten more PRO Tesco signatures than 600 in ONE day!
Me too !!! What is so special about the shops already there then! Supply and demand !!
If Tesco's are so so bad then the shop will close quickly because according to all the anti big business moaners on here, no one wants them! Something tells me it will be a busy shop because they actually supply what MOST people want from a convenience store. If you don't want to use it then just don't go in there SIMPLE

Paramjit Bahia says...
6:20pm Mon 8 Oct 12

At one time I used to live in Midanbury, when Castle used to be a nice place, but I understand that over the years its standards declined and most of the decent customers disappeared, which is very sad, because a mate of mine has now lost his drinking hole.

Tesco would have done the market research to make sure about the viability of the business. Otherwise they would not have acquired this site.

Although I rather have larger Co-Op outlet than Tesco, I can’t deny that when compared with like of Mr. Sonchhatla’s business it provides better value for the money spent, which consumers want.

So I am not sure if John Denham is backing the right cause or in the long run he may end up in doing damage to local consumers financial interests.

I have the feeling that he may have decided to take this line of pro Sonchhatla owned business for the sake of appeasing his family, because some of them are also leading lights of Vedic Society Hindu Temple, which NuLabour views as its colonialised vote bank.

shabbycaddy says...
8:03pm Mon 8 Oct 12

If Tesco wasn't to move into this pub, then developers would eventually after the building has decayed and then some lovely new social shoebox flats would of been built there. I think if I had the choice of a rough pub, crap flats, derelict building or Tescos, Tesco wins everytime. Plus the rubbish that is used about local shops suffering, if the shops offered a good product then people will keep going, if its a local shop which looks run down, dirty, and products out of date stocked then they deserve to close.

100%HANTSBOY says...
9:48pm Mon 8 Oct 12

D.a.v.e wrote:
The baker is living in the past. In order to be profitable you have to compete.
This could their opportunity to capatalize on the increased trade coming into the area.
Buy a van to sell more but the least they could do is refubish.
Very true,Hoffers Bakery in Burgess Road has seen a massive rise in custom since the opening of the Sainsburys Local next door.

mr.southampton says...
12:49am Tue 9 Oct 12

Nicole23 wrote:
I dont really understand the appeal of tesco express.You know you go in there and they dont have a good selection of anything worthwile except sweets,pop and crisps.
A few sad looking overpriced vegetables,sausages or a packet of bacon for £3.50 because the things you actually need are always their finest (joke) range.
And then you join the queue for the one till that is open because they only ring the buzzer for help when the queue reaches critical mass.
Or you stupidly decide to use the self service tills, where is the bar code?
Unauthorised item in bagging area,please wait for authorisation,item removed from bagging area Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

!!!!
At the end of the day you vote with your feet,I just want decent service thats why i dont shop at Tesco's.
Great description of your average Tesco. The places are a nightmare - especially at their peak times.

And they are all exactly the same, selling the same range of crisps, fizzy drinks and booze.

Honesty is best. says...
7:47am Tue 9 Oct 12

Lets be honest, the pub had become a right hole over the years, who wants to go for a drink in a pub when you can't walk to the bar because the carpet is so sticky you get stuck to it !
As for the local shop, I'm sure Mr Sonchhatla has done well enough out of the local community over the years to not worry to much about the customers going to tesco......

bazzeroz says...
8:48am Tue 9 Oct 12

Unfortunately Tesco will win. they always do! Name one ex pub whatever, that a supermarket chain has applied for redevelopment and NOT got? The big 4 are all bullies and the only winners will be them! If residents don't want it then don't use it, see how long that works because it won't. The only reason the big 4 buys up these plots is so that no other member of the big 4 can! It's called monopoly.

G-man1 says...
8:51am Tue 9 Oct 12

There'd be nothing wrong with Tescos, or any other big shop to be fair, if it wasn`t for the fact the country is turning into a giant, bland, souless shopping mall.Where's all the independant shops, cafes, pubs etc. They`re all closing because people would rather take the easy option by sitting on their backsides eating salt laden, fat drenched ready meals and watching rubbish TV and drinking cut price booze than going to a local cafe, actually speaking to someone, supporting local amenities or cooking a proper meal. We`ve become a nation of slackers and its our own fault- not Tescos

Suntanned Snowman says...
11:21am Tue 9 Oct 12

Be careful what you wish for. More Hyde Housing anyone?

sarfhamton says...
1:30pm Tue 9 Oct 12

SNA is a rip off anyway, bring on Tesco and save me some cash.

Honesty is best. says...
3:49pm Tue 9 Oct 12

I agree, SNA Premier.... its not even conference league ! Tesco will at least have in date produce..!!

parsonage 1 says...
9:25pm Tue 9 Oct 12

maybe we should just ask are great planning dept what they think as the seem to let anything go on no doubt the promise of jobs swung it not looking at the big picture again are we

just2things says...
7:19pm Wed 10 Oct 12

10 Minute Man wrote:
Time to up your game, create a Midanbury loyalty card etc etc, and make sure you are not competing on Tesco's strengths because you will lose and go bust !
Tesco forcing you to you bust? Up your game. The convienicen store is overpriced, Not surprised you are worried.

Second, I do not see empty parades everywhere I see a Tesco. Townhill park has a thriving Fruit and Veg Store and other shops near it. In fact in Townhill park there is great demand for a bakery which isnt there.

Tesco range is limited, use the extra footfall and modify your range and prices you you as traders can make better.

Am I also right in saying near Tesco in Cobden there is still a Bakery and Butcher?

Teso is not either of these and while may have small ranges you can compete. Stop whining that you will not be able to rip off your customers any more.

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