Lewisham’s Core Strategy Policy ‘Ensure development is flexible and adaptable to change’
Basing the sites success around a large superstore is backwards thinking and could lead to the site being a failure again within 50 years: The Distressed High Street Taskforce’s ‘Beyond Retail’ report (commissioned to follow on from the findings of The Portas Report) states that ‘The change in consumer shopping patterns, from ‘bricks and mortar’ to the ‘bricks and clicks’ is not a short-term fad….. there is too much retail in our urban centres……town centres need to evolve urgently to meet the broader needs of the communities that they serve for the next 50 years….means a smaller retail core, supplemented by the introduction of a wider range of uses such as food and leisure, civic functions’ (executive summary and recommendations).
This is backed by plenty of research such as a Consumer research Group IGD 2013 study which predicts internet grocery shopping to increase 124% 2013-2018 and predicts this growth to continue.
A 2014 Channel 4 Dispatches study showed that Asda is the only large supermarket that is still investing in large stores, whilst the other big stores are now focusing on small convenience stores that supplement large internet grocery shops.
Bloomberg reported on 29th August 2014: ‘within five years sales from traditional supermarkets will be lower than those from discount stores, online supermarkets and convenience stores. This is an extra-ordinary shift in the market and one that is going to cause damage to not only to Tesco, but to Sainsburys, Asda and Morrisons’.
In November 2013 Asda drew up a 5 year plan that included expansion of large stores in the South East and it is sticking to it: It is behind the curve, and will certainly have had to assume a catchment area greater than that of our District Centre boundaries to model viability.
2014 article: ticking time bomb of town centres left with empty shells of supermarkets in 10 years:
The old model of funding town centres with a supermarket is over and new models are emerging: Do we want to use an already outdated model that may fail or something suited to a sustainable future?