SHOPPED ! Do big retailers have an anti-social impact?

StoresFriday 7th March, 7:30 pm, Unity House, Fennel Street Loughborough

Discussion to be introduced by Ray Sutton and Martin Sears.

Ray suggests:
That superstores have a negative impact; he quotes from a statement, put out in 1998, from the government Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions which said: ” Our research has shown that large food stores can have an adverse impact on market towns and district centres………..smaller centres – which are dependent to a large extent on convenience retailing to underpin their function – are most vulnerable to the effects of larger food store developments…..”

Martin says:
The latest ‘in’ campaign is to bash the home grown UK supermarkets and in particular: Tesco. Meanwhile the British subsidiary of the US company that stocks lethal weapons, for sale to virtually anyone who can stand upright and quote the 2nd Amendment, is praised to high heaven in the online anti Tesco comments threads, along with the German Companies who have created a ‘successful’ selling proposition from rubbish looking stores.

This trend is exacerbated by Ukip and others attempting to convince the British public that the ’50s were the golden age in Britain due, in large part, to small shops filled with happy friendly people from across the social strata all mixing together as they trotted from one independent family run specialist shop to the other. Having lived through the ’50s my perception of the reality is very different. However, were Napoleon and Adam Smith both right?

Attacking ‘superstores’ is not the same as discussing the merits or otherwise of supermarket organisations such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s etc. The trend amongst supermarkets is to create ‘convenience’ outlets such as Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local. The supersized store is yesterday’s battle and is no longer the issue it was.

John Greenwood asks:
Do local authorities in the UK have the power to create zones with store size caps? These appear to be prevalent in the USA, see:
These caps set a maximum floor area for stores in the zone and appear to be aimed at “big box retailers” such as Wal-Mart. They also can set chain size caps in zones to encourage local businesses.
Should we campaign for local authorities to have and use such powers?
(I am asking this in advance as I shall be chairing this meeting)

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