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Carry on at your convenience

Larry Neild on the march of Tesco's as the city centre's seventh opens

Published on July 6th 2009.


Carry on at your convenience

LIVERPOOL this Tuesday changes its name to Tescopool in celebration of the near monopoly ' or should that be Tescopoly ' of Terry Leahy's chain which opens its seventh branch in the city centre.

Matta's in Bold Street sells provisions Tesco and Sainsbury's don't even realise exist on the planet

No wonder Sir Terry Leahy, local boy made good, is in seventh heaven as 'every little helps' Tesco seek world dominance.

Obviously he interpreted his Freedom of the City as the official right to open stores all over the show.

The newest Tesco, in Old Hall Street, joins recent additions in Lord Street, Hanover Street, Bold Street, Brownlow Hill, Mount Pleasant and the one that kicked it all off a few years ago, Parker Street.

So London Road's not good enough? No matter, they at least have a Lidl.Sainsbury's have three stores in Central Station, Castle Street and directly opposite the new Tesco in the Echo building.

It's incredible to think a few years ago the city centre was virtually devoid of food stores, with M&S holding the fort.

Yet there was a time when the big department stores were purveyors of fine groceries ' Henderson's, House of Fraser and Littlewoods. Even Woolies did food. Who can forget queuing up for mouth-watering freshly carved ham on the bone from Lewis's? While bus-pass holders may well remember the distinctive aroma of Cooper's food hall, in Church Street , where fresh roasted coffee beans pre-dated Maxwell House.

Luckily the invasion of the supermarket giants has not, so far, hit the much loved barrow boys and flower sellers. There's some thing very special about buying fruit and veg from a street stall staffed by people who had been up at the crack of dawn wheeling and dealing down at the Wholesale market.

Matta's, in Bold Street, sells provisions Tesco and Sainsbury's don't even realise exists on the planet.

When Tesco opened its Parker Street store, in what was Owen-Owen's, people speculated on its success. Why would people shop at a supermarket in the city centre and then lug their carrier bags home on the bus or train? But they did.

Perhaps the aim is to create a 'Terry's' on every corner, in the same way Scottie Road was once blessed with so many boozers. After all, that was how it started out.

Critics who frown on the march of Tesco should at least accept Sir Terry's company has become a significant provider of jobs in the city centre.

One thing, though, does concern me: the gradual disappearance of small, locally owned shops in the city centre. As Liverpool Confidential revealed the other day, the brilliant News from Nowhere is struggling to make ends meet.

There needs to be a strategy to entice and encourage entrepreneurs to set up store in the city centre.

Let's see the return of the violin repairer where passers-by could see, without hesitation, that they were always on the fiddle.

For now, and for our very own convenience Tesco will be wherever we walk.

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19 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AdamJuly 6th 2009.

We do our shopping on foot and try to buy from local small shops or stalls whenever we can - vote with your feet! We deplore the monopoly that Tescos has on the city! Sometimes I think our lazyness / convenience attitude means our quality of life goes backwards...please someone open a bakery that is not a chain! p.s. great little grocers on windsor street, Toxteth.

Bold StreetJuly 6th 2009.

has Liverpool Lou or anyone ever experienced that strange thing (reported in the local media) where people leaving modern day Central Station walk into a Victorian Bold Street, horses and carts, ladies in long gowns and hats, some kind of timewarp thing. Sounds scary but fun.

dave rogersJuly 6th 2009.

Good, lets get more superstores into the town centre - it is much easier for workers to shop on their way home. The scruffy little market stalls around the city should be pulled down because they send completely the wrong image to tourists (Liverpools only decent industry).Tesco provide a vital service to commuters and hard pressed working mums.Keep up the good work guys - what about a superstore in Church Street?You will clean up.

Liverpool LouJuly 6th 2009.

Steady on Larry. I have got miles to go before I get my bus pass, but I can still smell the coffee wafting out the door on Church Street, I can never open a packet of the filter stuff without fleetingly revisiting the memory. I also remember Macfisheries (or however it was spelt) in Bold Street, with live lobsters walking up and down the counter, which made me run down Bold Street screaming, with my mother in hot persuit - and she had lost her place in the queue. Happy days

lidl annoyedJuly 6th 2009.

..yes well done sir Tez for another no doubt successful outlet (several new stores per month wasn't it?) Am still finding it difficult to understand the reasoning of making circa 250 very loyal staff (inc myself) redundant from what was "allegedly" supposed to be the most productive distribution centre in the UK. Crazy isn't it! Even after losing my shares, my benefits and my pension, I still do my shopping with you (E.L.H.) Good luck to all my old friends there anyway x :)

wayne ColquhounJuly 6th 2009.

Editorial says: Post removed because links aren't allowed and if we see any we will take them off. However, Wayne, if you wish to make your thoughts known, please go ahead in the accepted format. Thanks.

Rubber JohnnyJuly 6th 2009.

The march of Home Bargains gathers pace and they have now bought most of the Woolworths. In a few years I expect world domination.

Pati- OJuly 6th 2009.

By 'protect' do we mean start shopping in them to put cash in the tills,? don't like that word 'protect'If everyone who read this went and bought a book a month in N from N then hopefully they will continue to be a very relivant part of Liverpool.(i've done me bit this month, was up there last friday after the article)

ObserverJuly 6th 2009.

I imagine you spend rather a lot of time in Thailand, Immy Grant

LateNiteOwlJuly 6th 2009.

Only opened two days and Tesco has bunged in an application to open its Old Hall Street store till 1am instead of 10pm. Great - we'll soon be a 24 hour city centre.

The world's a funny placeJuly 6th 2009.

Tesco's started out on every corner. They were rapidly going down the tubes in the 1980s when they suddenly turned themselves into superstores.

Immy GrantJuly 6th 2009.

Whats needed is more street food stalls.Anyone been to Thailand? The sellers there make a fortune selling great food at really cheap prices.They would outsell the hotdog slimeballs with their snot,onion and pigs bumhole concoctions anyday.

NorthenderJuly 6th 2009.

London Road is getting a Tesco soon. They're opening at 91 London Road.It'll be No 8 if Laz's adding up is accurate. They're slowly taking over the world.

Immy GrantJuly 6th 2009.

Whats needed is more street food stalls.Anyone been to Thailand? The sellers there make a fortune selling great food at really cheap prices.They would outsell the hotdog slimeballs with their snot,onion and pigs bumhole concoctions anyday.

wayne ColquhounJuly 6th 2009.

Editorial says: See below

AnonymousJuly 6th 2009.

Visit Tescopoly.org and you may see Tesco in a fresh light. As the website states ... every little hurts.

scot and proudJuly 6th 2009.

TESCO are not suited to the centre of Liverpool.LIDL would be more the sort of standard for people in Liverpool.

ShopperJuly 6th 2009.

It's great to see so many food outlets in the city centre.Well done to Tesco for what is a significant investment. Those days of dragging yourself along busy shopping streets may seem nostalgic, but you can't beat one-stop shopping. Though I agree we need to protect the small specialist shops that add the colour and charm devoid in the supermarkets.

wayne ColquhounJuly 6th 2009.

How very convenient. But can Larry use his own ideas from now on.

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