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The truths they don't want you to read....

Saturday, March 29, 2008


So the Western Isles have finally succumbed to the relentless march of Tesco.

Good or bad for the islands?

Good: more choice; better quality; will move the options up market; likely to expand the site due the wider range they will offer; will keep the Co-op on their toes.

Bad: will further destroy the few independent shops in Stornoway; likely to expand the site due the wider range they will offer; we will be just another identikit town.

On balance good, but only because the damage to the local shops was done when the Co-op got planning permission for the first superstore. After that the inevitable series of events took their course.


! said...

The coffee I prefer.

In the Co-op: £3.09
In Tesco: £1.30

Tesco good or bad for my budget. Do I have to answer that...?

I'm not sure it'll make as much of a massive difference as some folk think. Oddly, one of the main losers may be Calmac, as a lot of Uist people drive over and through Skye to Inverness every few months (or more) to do a huge Tesco shop. Instead, they may take the shorter / cheaper ferry over the Sound of Harris.

Does anyone know if Tesco will be opening a petrol station at the site as well?

Anonymous said...

Cheaper Petrol? Sunday opening? Sunday Papers? and an end to shabby service?

Anonymous said...

Taking the eastgate centre out of the equation the main streets of invertesco have died a horrible death over the last few years with many businesses going to the wall. I take your point that this basically happened here with the big co-ops arrival.
It begs the question what will be left in SY town centre. If tesco use all the space available to them (and there is a lot)there will be nothing left for the independants. More hairdressers, more charity shops and even more empty spaces. There isn't much tesco don't sell and can't see how anyone can stop them squeezing into every profitable market, i don't think they do hairdressing or charity shops but they definitely dont do empty spaces.
Optician, chemist, travel, clothes, electrical white and luxury goods.
Great if the price is right for the consumer but we really need to think about what we do about the town itself and quickly.
All that aside i cant wait to use my tesco card locally and see how the co-op copes!!!!

Anonymous said...

being morally opposed to the Tesco way of doing things, I tend to disagree with you about whether the overall picture is good or bad.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7.31- I think you doth protest too much! As someone who lived and worked in Inverness for some time, the centre of Inverness has most definately not "died a death" with the advent of Tesco and large out of town retail parks. On the contrary, the town centre is bustling with small specialist shops offering great friendly service. Bookshops, coffee shops, delis, two music shops within yards of each other, the Victorian Arcade, good butcher and baker shops, thriving pubs,a range of restaurants from fast food to gourmet, model shops, barber shops, hairdressers, shoe repairs, watch repairs, fabric shops, chemist shops, the list goes on and on and on.
so the message to Stornoway shopkeepers is simple- raise your game, give good service with a smile and rise to meet the challenge or shut up shop, now.

Thomas Lipton.

Anonymous said...

Wee Angus C will be fretting that Tesco sell petrol at a normal prize. I believe it is 12p a litre cheaper in Inverness, so we could expect at least 10p less I'd have thought.

How amusing would that be to see him go to the wall!

Maybe he could then get a job at Arnish spray painting skips with the rest of the employees there. That is what they are up to at the moment, as they have no other work.

Come on - lets have the honest truth about Arnish

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:24

You can be sure if tesco propose fuel Toad of Toad Hall will ensure planning permission will not be granted.

Clarissa Clumpton-Smythe said...

Have just been in the Coop this lunchtime and it looks like war must have broken out. There are two tomatoes left on the shelf and some mouldy grapefruits. Presumably the 'crate' has not sailed this morning or we are expected to purchase the out of date food before they put out fresh stuff. If Tesco can get here before May, on a ferry built before the Spanish Armada, I'll help stack their shelves for nothing.

Anonymous said...

shirley not Thomas Lipton of Stornoway?!

Anonymous said...

I don't think the comparison to Inverness is appropriate: a much larger town with many large regional agencies and many people coming into town from other parts of the highlands; and national chains existing on the high street, which is pretty much like any other small-city high street in the UK. There aren't many real local shops anywhere, and they're certainly in decline rather than springing up (other than the Polish deli of course). Inverness is already on to phase 2, with few local merchants to speak of, but some activity in the centre so no, it's not dead.

However this IS about scale and Stornoway is not of that scale. On the other hand, we're trapped here. Wick is a better comparison, and the centre of Wick is almost without commerce, while the (admittedly lovely and cheap) Tescopolis is thriving, and the Wickers finally get some decent veg. Some would say Wick centre was already on its last legs before Tesco moved in, of course (not least because most of the trade went to Inverness) but Tesco was undoubtedly the nail in the coffin.

Anonymous said...

Wick was always the Toxteth of Caithness - some may say a fair comparison to Stornoway

Anonymous said...

To compare Toxteth to Stornoway I suppose you'd at least have to have heard of Toxteth....

Anonymous said...

Some random thoughts on Tesco coming here.

1) They say that they are not currently planning for Sunday opening. Given that they led the charge for the changes in the Sunday Trading Laws. I wonder how long this stance will last. CNES vs Tesco. Such a one sided contest.

2) If/When Tesco open on a Sunday that would give more impetus for the Sunday service that we want rather than The Sunday Service which we are offered! {:-))

3) Tescos prices are generally much lower than the Coop. It is interesting to see what has happened to the Coop in Thurso now that Tesco's have taken over Sumerfield there. The Coop now take Tesco money off vouchers! It (the coop)'s still pants though!

4) My ex-wife used to do a lot of diving on a boat which would come into Wick on an evening. Even before Tesco's came she said that Wick Town Centre was dead but just didn't know it.

5) Wick has some of the most depived areas in the Highlands. A lot of people there can't afford to travel to Inveress to do their shopping on a regular basis.

6) Tesco's, when working on the Thurso and Wick store were working 7 days a week. Wonder if that will happen here?

7) Tesco's might now start delivering some more of their stuff to the island. Would that help or hinder the local hauliers?

Looking forward to them opening.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting... i have stated several times that i am morally opposed to Tesco... no one has yet asked - why? Is this because they already know the answer? I tend to think so. Tescos will be bad for the island - although maybe they won't show their true colours for the first few months.

Anonymous said...

... i have stated several times that i am morally opposed to Tesco... no one has yet asked - why?

Because you're a self-important buffoon?

Why don't you just say what's on your mind about Tesco, instead of stamping your little hooves because no-one's asked you first? Sir?

Anonymous said...


Get that plum 'oot yer mooth' and say it man

The sabbatarians arent watching you(are they Angus?)

Anonymous said...

"It is interesting... i have stated several times that i am morally opposed to Tesco... no one has yet asked - why? Is this because they already know the answer? I tend to think so."

Hahaha! Oh, pass the brandy, I'm feeling dizzy with all that laughing.


"What is the world, O soldiers?
It is I:
I, this incessant snow,
This northern sky;
Soldiers, this solitude
Through which we go
Is I."

Walter de la Mare