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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

Identikit Vs Independent, Does Sainsbury’s spell trouble?

October 30, 2012
Writer__Adam Gilbert The year long battle between the local businesses of New Cross and the overbearing giant, Sainsbury’s, is soon to reach full swing as the mini-store on Lewisham Way prepares to open. ‘No More Chain Stores’ has been posted throughout local shop windows, protests have taken place outside Sainsbury’s headquarters, and plans to boycott…
Writer__Adam Gilbert
The year long battle between the local businesses of New Cross and the overbearing giant, Sainsbury’s, is soon to reach full swing as the mini-store on Lewisham Way prepares to open. ‘No More Chain Stores’ has been posted throughout local shop windows, protests have taken place outside Sainsbury’s headquarters, and plans to boycott the supermarket have been made, but all seems to have been to no avail.Exactly how the local stores will be affected is so far unclear. But the unique delights of New Cross – shops such as The Allotment and cafes like Café Crema may certainly find themselves facing some tougher competition; a competition that may well decide the future of the local area, as we mindlessly rush towards the soulless gloom of identikit high streets.We may take some comfort in knowing that another supermarket may at least offer a distraction from the plentiful grease filled fried chicken shops to which we have become so very accustomed to in the local area. But not all parts of the high street should we be so willing to let go.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s claimed the new store would exist to “compliment existing businesses”, but Gill Jones, manager of fresh fruit and vegetable shop, The Allotment, thinks otherwise:

“Looking at the things they’re planning on selling, it’s clear they must have looked around all the local shops to try and steal our business. Not all of the small Tescos and Sainsbury’s sell everything, but they’re going to do fruit, vegetables, sandwiches; everything”.

It seems that if we wish to keep our local businesses going, we have to consider what it is that we truly want. Sainsbury’s may be able to offer convenience and some of their products may be cheaper, but the independent and personal charm of The Allotment, which offers a quality of produce and friendly service far unmatched by its supermarket competitor, is certainly something worth fighting for.

“Unfortunately”, says Gill, “it’s like David and Goliath, we just can’t go fighting against Sainsbury’s”. We can however, as the people of New Cross, make the conscious choice, before it’s too late, to support the places that we don’t want to lose.