“EVERY little extra Tesco store that opens up sounds the death knell for another long-established independent business.”
That’s the view of Siobhan Cahill who ran Grosvenor News in Cuppin Street until it closed on Saturday due to fierce competition from the nearby Tesco Express in Pepper Street.
Siobhan, 28, of Frodsham, said her father bought the well-known Chester newsagents as a family business two-and-a-half years ago with the intention it would generate an income for the next 20 years.
“Tesco has killed us,” said Siobhan, who believes 90% of regular customers have migrated from her shop, which began as a tobacconist in 1906, across to the Tesco Express which opened last April.
She said it was simply impossible to compete on price with the supermarket chain but said Chester was losing its character due to the invasion of retail giants.
“We have counted four big Tescos and two or three Tesco Expresses. I think it’s disgraceful,” said Siobhan, who has two young daughters and is now looking for work.
“We also noticed a real decline with the weather being so awful during Chester races. That hasn’t helped, but the main reason is more and more people are shopping at the Tesco Express rather than coming here. We are still selling newspapers and fags but Tesco has taken away the main earners such as crisps, chocolate and cans of pop.”
Bridgegate Premier Stores in Lower Bridge Street confirmed it has also been ‘greatly affected’ by the Tesco Express but there were no plans to close the business.
Tesco has large stores in Frodsham Street and Sealand Road as well as the Chester Retail Park-based Tesco Homeplus plus a giant Tesco Extra at Broughton Retail Park. There are Tesco Express stores in Delamere Street and Pepper Street in the city centre and another at Weston Grove, Upton.
One Stop shops are also owned by Tesco with stores in Faulkner Street in Hoole, Garden Lane, Upton and Waverton.