Our petition CLOSED on 4th April 2013 but you can read all about it HERE
STOP PRESS: Online + town paper petition exceeds 10,000 target and closes at 11,324!
The Story of a little Dorset town v. Tesco PLC
A statement by Tesco in December 2012 declared its plans to open a new store in Sherborne on the 6 acre site of The Sherborne Hotel – this stirred a mini army of supporters into action, with a social media campaign, petition and website all launched within 48 hours of the news. We are particularly pleased to have attracted the support of high street champion MARY PORTAS too!
We cannot overestimate the impact Tesco (or any other supermarket) would have on our independent shops, markets and other high street stores and services. In other words, to the very fabric of the town centre and our way of life.
The key issues are:
This is not a debate about people’s shopping preferences – the arguments are much more complex than that. The town is not averse to change or moving with the times either – we have already accommodated many high street brands into our town centre, including two major supermarkets, but it is now time to take a stand on further retail over-development.
On such a large site Tesco’s potential* offering could include homeware & gifts, clothes, electrical & DIY, sport & leisure, toys, children’s & baby products, health & pharmacy services, beauty & fragrances, entertainment & books, newspapers & magazines, stationery & office products, financial, banking & insurance services, dry cleaning, opticians, pets, gardening & floristry as well as food and drink, in-store bakery, greengrocery, fish counter, butchery, deli, wine & spirits, coffee shop and restaurant. Everything we already have in Sherborne in fact!
One of the factors in seeking planning permission for building at Barton Farm in Sherborne was that it would bring extra business into the town centre – it would be ironic if Tesco takes all that new business and more from the town.
Other than a thriving high street, Sherborne already has two major supermarkets and numerous smaller ones which can more than cope with our population of around 10,000. Those who want to shop in larger chain stores and supermarkets, and we respect that, need only pop into Yeovil for much more choice whenever they want. Alternatively Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsburys already offer an excellent delivery service to Sherborne.
People say taking on Tesco is a waste of time – we believe they underestimate the strength of the community in Sherborne and further afield.
*These are the retail categories Tesco represents. Some categories will be introduced in its initial plans, some categories will compete online and others may be introduced as part of expansion once Tesco’s planning application is approved and the initial store is built. Look at Tesco’s Yeovil store for direct comparison – it started as a single level general food and homeware store and now trades from two floors with a multi-storey carpark!