Save our Sheringham - Say NO to Tesco

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Outcry as Tesco takes half new retail space

Rivals reacted with anger after it emerged that Tesco grabbed half of Britain's new retail space last year. Research firm Verdict said Tesco opened 2m square feet of shopping space in 2006, out of a total of 4m, once closures were factored in.
Asda - number two in Britain's super-league - called the figures 'staggering.' Stephen Alambritis, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the research proved the government needs to ensure a level playing field. Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy is bracing himself for the results of the latest Competition Commission inquiry into his sector. Smaller firms are calling on the regulator to stop the country from being carpeted in identikit grocery outlets. Alambritis said Britain is losing 2,500 small shops every year, adding: 'Politicians should step in and say enough is enough.'
Jennifer England, of Asda, said local councils should have to consider the need for greater competition when deciding planning applications. 'There is a massive gulf between us and (Tesco),' she said. 'It's quite staggering. That's why this competition issue is so important.'
A Tesco spokesman said: 'The reason we've been more successful than our rivals in getting new retail space is that we are willing to be more flexible and innovative.'