Opinions will be divided as two high street giants prepare to invade Hoole.
A Costa sign has appeared in the window of the former Nat West bank in Faulkner Street confirming the worst kept secret about the imminent arrival of the coffee chain – with the opening expected in mid November.
Meanwhile, signs have been erected on the under-construction Co-op in Hoole Road which opens on Thursday, October 26.
It will take the place of nearby Co-ops in Faulkner Street – which has already closed– and Walker Street.
The big brand invasion has generated both fears as well as more positive vibes around the potential opportunities in terms of the impact on Hoole’s treasured shopping centre.
Many people are concerned at the arrival of Costa, especially given there are already independent cafés and businesses offering hot drinks such as Deli-Vert, Cafe.com, Little Yellow Pig and Chatwins. But some traders wonder if it will generate increased footfall from which they can benefit.
When planning consent was approved for a mini-supermarket in Hoole Road, in place of the Elms Medical Centre, it went down badly with the Hoole community although at that point Tesco was lined up to run the store. Co-op took over when Tesco reviewed its nationwide expansion strategy.
The planning meeting heard 1,750 people had signed a petition against the scheme.
A big concern is the convenience store is just off the main shopping street so that customers may park up and then drive away again without visiting nearby shops.
Almost double the size of the Walker Street Co-op, there’s no doubt it will offer a broad range of goods under one roof with its in-store bakery, essentials, fresh foods and, curiously, given the proximity of its neighbour, even a Costa coffee dispenser.