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Cricket, groceries, campaigners: the Tesco Stretford War

Public meeting to be held to organise against supermarket giant

Published on September 25th 2009.

Cricket, groceries, campaigners: the Tesco Stretford War

Regular readers of Manchester Confidential over the last two years can’t failed to have noticed the anti-Tesco hysteria that breaks out every time the five letter word is mentioned. And the subsequent anti anti-Tesco hysterics that rebound back.

We shop in those shops precisely because they aren’t Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons. The audience for those shops isn’t going to go away. That will only happen if the people who advocate principles of diversity and quality are hypocrites who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.

On one side Tesco morphs into an invading army of marauding barbarians: an enemy at the gates, threatening the small trader and community values of society - in perpetuity. On the other side Tesco is no worse than the rest of the supermarket behemoths, offering range and value, while those who hate it are lefties and dreamers.

It gets silly.

Now battle is to be joined again. It promises to be a right humdinger. Round one takes place this Monday. A public meeting has been called in response to the proposal to build a 140,000 sq foot Tesco store in Stretford, which would possibly be the largest in the UK.

This is part of an overall strategy for the Trafford Town Hall area which would include funds going to Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC) to refurbish itself into a 21st Century arena befitting of top class sporting entertainment.

But this isn’t any meeting: it’s one with prejudice. The invitation is: ‘being held in Stretford to organise against the overdevelopment’.

Against. The message is clear. There's going to be revolution in the air. The meeting is called: Buy one Mega-Tesco - lose your local shops'.

But are the protesters missing the point? The aggressive way Tesco goes about things can be hard to take; and it’s undoubtedly true that our traditional shopping centres have been damaged by the mass production of these factories of retail: but that’s already happened.

Stretford Mall (nee Stretford Arndale) for instance will never blossom into a butterfly of diverse, independent retail choice. That sweet insect has flown away – a long time ago.

Most people in the area probably already shop in ASDA Hulme, Morrisons in Chorlton, Sainsbury’s on Regent Road and ASDA at the Trafford Centre. All a new Tesco will do is give people who already do this more choice in which to do it. And it will cut the journey time for people in the Gorse Hill, Old Trafford, Stretford areas to their local supermarket. At the same time, since the collapse of independent choice in the above areas, it’s scale will mean it competes more with its mega-rivals than with local traders.

Essentially the protest is all about Chorlton, because Chorlton is the only place in attack range of the proposed Tesco that has a critical mass of independent retailers left.

Thing is though, at Confidential we find it hard to believe that the places where many of us shop, the Barbakan, the Unicorn, Out of the Blue, Carringtons, McQueen, the Chorlton Bookshop and so on, will be unduly affected by a Tesco monster a couple of miles away.

We find this hard to believe because we shop in those shops precisely because they aren’t Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons. That’s not going to change. The audience for those shops isn’t going to go away. That will only happen if the people who advocate principles of diversity and quality are hypocrites who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.

And there’s a big win involved with this application which makes it unlike others.

Acceptance of the proposal will shoe-horn funds to LCCC for the benefit of all who love sport in the North West. Having asked insiders we know that without the green light from the planners the redevelopment simply won't go ahead. International cricket will disappear along with many of the gigs and events LCCC presently holds.

Remember. This is Manchester, this is the sporting capital of the UK, this is where BBC Sport, and Radio 5 Live are moving in a year. The city region needs to ensure we get first class international cricket hosted in Manchester, we must have the Ashes back. It’s part of what we offer, what we do, how we sell ourselves.

It might be that Tesco's got us over a barrel with this promise of funds. But given the hard to foresee damage that the mega-store may deliver to local retailers allied to the benefit of an enhanced LCCC, it's hard not to support the application.

Do the protesters ever worry about the diversity and distinctiveness of our sporting choice?

We’ll see because we’ll go along to Monday’s meeting and report back. We'll see what the arguments are against the proposals, the stats given and so forth, and tell you what happened - as long as they don't chuck us out for our cautious support that is.

Meeting: 'Buy one Mega-Tesco - lose your local shops': Monday 28th September

Address: Gorse Hill United Church, Wesley Street, (off Chester Rd ), Stretford, M32 0GL, 0161 868 0115

Time: 7.30pm - 9.00pm

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

EditorialSeptember 25th 2009.

Dear Lesbian reader you're right on this score. That was un-called for from Janeybabe. No we aren't a vehicle for aggressive hatred. In fact we continually remind people that we want to be a site where issues, concerns, food and drink and so forth are discussed intelligently and if not with intelligence then at least with wit. We'll keep both yours and the comment you complain of on though, because yours shames the original one so well. The editor's email is jonathans@planetconfidential.co.uk if you'd like to complain directly.

east lancsSeptember 25th 2009.

Why on earth do you despise it mate? Maliks is actually half-decent, but the other two "local shops" just down from Tesco are overpriced and really not good quality. Tesco always seems busy whenever I'm there, nuff said sorry!

ChickSeptember 25th 2009.

There's also a Watrose in Cheadle, Station Road

rosieSeptember 25th 2009.

there's a Waitrose opening in Altrincham later this month

Whalley RangerSeptember 25th 2009.

You're right - I am not quite 40 yet... I could be a gran by now if I was from Liverpool... or Moss Side.

east lancsSeptember 25th 2009.

The Tesco on Withington Road has made such a difference - the local shops sell low-quality produce at inflated prices.

AnonymousSeptember 25th 2009.

Stop whining and jump at it, pretty sure your thick head will break the glass.

Thought PoliceSeptember 25th 2009.

You can't call them greenies anymore!

casSeptember 25th 2009.

I apologise if I mistook your meaning, however I seriously doubt you're old enough to use either. Who says 'duffus' unless they're mid pubity or a character in an American teen comedy?!

Whalley RangerSeptember 25th 2009.

...now that the traffic has increased on Withington Rd, we eagerly anticipate the opening of another chain: totally odd or kro100

ErmSeptember 25th 2009.

Sorry mate but you're way off the mark; the above piece reads as typical Schofield. I love it when people wheel out the old "ManCon pander to advertisers" bollocks whenever an article disagrees with their own opinion. Your obvious anti-Tory stance being illustrative of this.

zarasaraSeptember 25th 2009.

As a Gorse Hill resident for 5 years now, Man Con you've totally missed the point. Move on from your pro-Tesco anti-Chorlton stance. The problem with a mega Tesco is the impact on traffic on Chester Road the A56 is a nightmare and that's without match day traffic, not to mention the impact on air pollution. Have you seen how many cars go in and out of the Jumbo Tesco in Stockport near the M60? As noted earlier if will kill off Stretford Mall will lose the only sense of a town centre Stretford has. And as far as the cricket is concerned money would be generated from any redevelopment of the site - it doesn't have to be a Tesco a mixed use office development would also generate investment funding for the cricket. With Booths Supermarket locating at MediaCityUK, do we really need this - NO!

Lidl JohnSeptember 25th 2009.

Whalley Ranger is a little off the point which is that Tesco'll attract all those Identikit shops which are also part of chains. Subway? Really? Wow.

Sir LancesalotSeptember 25th 2009.

On the rare occaisions I get any stick (ooer!) I... don't care. Jayneybaby was pretty damn amusing there, and certainly wasn't personally attacking anybody.

DaveSeptember 25th 2009.

Let the good people of Gorse Hill have their Tesco if they want one, it's nobody else's business. Is it true this scheme involves demolishing the town hall though - that would be much more a concern for me, a true landmark on the chester road.

JinkiesSeptember 25th 2009.

Sainsbury's & Marks on one side, and Tesco and Morrisons on the other?

AnonymousSeptember 25th 2009.

Because there's a recession on and most people would rather have cheap shopping?Or maybe because Waitrose are a bit classy and don't feel the need to have 10 stores in every town because people are happy to drive out to them.

BlameSeptember 25th 2009.

The thing that surprises me the most; Lidl is actually pronounced Leedle, who saw that coming!

spell checkSeptember 25th 2009.

That's right!

The Whalley RangerSeptember 25th 2009.

Wonderful! Finally, we all agree. Whalley Range will become the Chorlton of the 2010s.

spell checkSeptember 25th 2009.

...and co-op is pronounced crap. Another example where ethical doesn't stand for quality, just like green and blacks...

AnonymousSeptember 25th 2009.

I do not doubt you have and I would assume you gave as good as you got.

CasSeptember 25th 2009.

Back on topic, why can't we another Waitrose store? The one in Wilmslow is rubbish.

equal opportunitiesSeptember 25th 2009.

what about dads with kids? why do lesbians get all the attention? fact is: 'horror women' do exist, whatever they 'munch'...

mark mSeptember 25th 2009.

LMFAO @ Janeybaby. brilliant

Manchester ConservativefidentialSeptember 25th 2009.

Was the above written by the Tory gimps at Trafford Council? Together with the promotion of the Bullingdon Club Reunion Party this website is starting to feel a little too biased. There are strong arguments both for and against regarding the Tesco proposals, the underlying tone of the cod-journalism which inform this article suggest that Manchester Confidential's contributors are a little too keen to be party political.

AnonymousSeptember 25th 2009.

Erm...you spell dufus, dufus.Dufus.

WR PermaFixtureSeptember 25th 2009.

I've been in that Tesco a load of times now, I have never, ever been harrassed. Nor have I seen any fights there. Sorry if I wasn't clear; I was referring to that particular strip. The general area is lovely. I prefer it to anywhere else I've lived in this city if I'm honest.

Whalley RangerSeptember 25th 2009.

We all welcomed TESCO opening on Withington Rd. Since then, a new Subway outlet, a pharmacy and now a brand new Poundland have/will join the street scene. Tesco's killing shops? Hell no, two of those ten existing grocers could go, they all sell the same tat. Fare well to Monoculture I say!

JayneybabySeptember 25th 2009.


home on the whalley rangeSeptember 25th 2009.

at least maliks does not have security who harrass folk who dont arrive in cars. theres been a lot of fights inside and outside tescos. no i dont like chains; that is my main point yes - the reasons have been posted here so many times by different folk - and i respect your right to disagree. the light thing was being slightly tongue in cheek (it does not actually affect me as i'm on the same side of the road). But again we come to: you say the area is getting better becuase houses sell for more. i say most residents i know cant afford to buy and there is more to a community than money. True the garage isnt exactly pretty but if you dont think whalley range has a distint character - all those trees and big old houses etc - well i'm confused if you;ve ever actually been there.

Sir LancesalotSeptember 25th 2009.

Honey I've been called far worse :o) Maybe if I was a Chorltonista I'd be more militant.

BlacksmithSeptember 25th 2009.

Lighten up, JB caught the Chorlton vibe perfectly and she has posted what could be the funniest rant on here this year. Down with PC, up with people who can take a friendly dig. My nickname at school was Plug and I didn't give a damn. Funny funny funny! Being a Catholic, I also describe myself and my family as a bunch of left footers with A levels in guilt!

Trevor EnarSeptember 25th 2009.

The Town Hall is not to be demolished. Although it's a drab structure the only virtue of which is that it's a bit old, not very old, but a bit old.

And the Rant of The Week award goes toSeptember 25th 2009.


AnonymousSeptember 25th 2009.

However commercial business is the purest form of democracy. Tesco would not be so succesful if people didn't choose to shop there, that is unless they are bundled into vans and forced to do so. I don't think it is Tesco's responsibility to sort the local area out, unless they have have replaced the council and other services? People will choose where they shop and not simply based on cost, which as you say Maliks seems to win on. However do the people of Withington Road not deserve better than dodgy fruit?

Whalley Range FanSeptember 25th 2009.

If it was not for local people standing up to the anti Tesco brigade in Whalley Range then we would not have benefited from both a decent local Supermarket and 3 new stores. The increase in shoppers arising from the Tesco has also made the area more safer. The shop also provides a sense of community and a meeting place for people to socialise.The anti Tesco brigade are so dogmatic that they would have preferred the shops to remain empty with an impact on the appearence and safety of Withington road. -My concern for Stretford is that the vocal and aggressive anti Tesco brigade will deter local people in Stretford from expressing their wishes. I would suggest people ask where people live at the meeting before they express their comments - we dont want Chorltonites deciding the fate of Stretford. Fortunately, the vocal people of Whalley Range stopped the Chorltonites from getting their way

Like to say no but not with theseSeptember 25th 2009.

A problem is that people will turn up to the Tesco meeting with the doctrinaire atitude that the supermarket chain is a perfect respresentative for all they hate in western capitalist liberal democracy. They won't care about local shops, the rights of local people or the cricket, it'll just be an excuse to protest. I don't want this Tesco but I don't want to protest that fact with them. This leaves my protest nowhere to go.

Jon NSeptember 25th 2009.

Ummm.. so we should support Tesco because they are giving money to LCC? Is this the LCC development which will entail demolishing the Town Hall building - and various other 'improvments'. And then you go on: Gigs are going to stop!! cricket is going to stop!! Who is providing a one-sided opinion now? Of course cricket won't stop, and gigs will carry on. The worst case scenario: we may not have test matches. End of story. That is the TOTAL impact, so please be honest.Any even that isn't going to happen: if you have driven past LCC lately will see that they are in fact redeveloping right now - building a Hospitality & Events Grandstand, upgrading facilities etc. If you go to www.lancashirecricket.net/msites.php… you will see their own spokesman saying that the current development, funded by the NWDA and not dependent on Tesco, will be enough to bring back Test cricket. I'm not a lover of Chorlton (who is?) but I'm not a lover of over saturation of supermarkets either. We don't need this large Tesco, and supporting it is just supporting their policy: not only of squeezing out independent retailers, but of squeezing out other Supermarkets!

Cheetham hillSeptember 25th 2009.

There is a fininite amount of grocery and non food shopping to go round.One stores planning permission is lost trade elsewhere.In this case the target is the exisiting Arndale Centre shops,unlovely structure that it is.The Arndale is however accessible,widely used by a wide range of people and the centre of a district now.Aside from the property developers and Tescos how many other people ultimately gain?Cricket or GP surgey bribes/section 106s have often proved very poor value elsewhere.Removing profits from food shopping from an often local economy to a global one is a strategy favoured by the type of laissez-faire thinking of the last 15 years.....

home on the whalley rangeSeptember 25th 2009.

absolutley - of course - but i just dont think tescos is the answer. but all my neighbours who actaully live on the street and have to see it every bloody time we step foot outside our houses did not want tescos and do not shop there - but have no say in the matter becuase of course commerce always wins. Btw Maliks is a very long way from perfect but it does have a charm and lots of its produce is OK. I dont think you would get scurvy if you relied soley on them for your 5 a day

Whalley RangerSeptember 25th 2009.

Lidl Jon, it is not my intention to support big chain shops, I support DIVERSITY believe it or not. That is the point. Subway is an alternative feeding ground for the kids from St Bedes College at lunchtime. I am not a kid from St Bedes college and don't frequent sandwich shops because 'I can do that myself'. But I tolerate their existence. Sometimes, big chains ENABLE DIVERSITY, a fact that many protesters should think about twice before muttering on about anti this and anti that...

AnonymousSeptember 25th 2009.

I'm from Stretford and am against the proposed 140,000 sq foot Tesco.I'm not hostile to Tesco, would love to see test cricket return to LCC and I have no problem with the approx 50,000 sq foot supermarket that Tesco got planning permission for a few years ago.My concern is that the proposed massive out of town supermarket will knock the stuffing out of an already dismal Stretford town centre and make the chances of future investment in Stretford town centre less likely. Many residents have been pleading with the council for years to regenerate Stretford town centre to create a place the community could atually take some pride in.

not botheredSeptember 25th 2009.

I am a dad with a kid called Kevin and would also like to complain...

The Whalley RangerSeptember 25th 2009.

Anon, this is getting complicated now: urban dictionary says it's doofus, not dufus or duffus. Nice try, d-person!

home on the whalley range says..“September 25th 2009.

i despise it because tesco are dull, unimaginative and deeply unethical (no, i don't shop at asda etc either and yes, i am far from perfect and probably make a million 'bad' choices a day but not supporting huge chains os one i stick to) I've lived on withington road for 15 years: its far from utopia but the coming of tesco's has done nothing to help the real problems in the area: ie the failure of 'care in the community' and lack of support for vulnerable people (including the prostitutes who have merely moved to darker streets) What it does is erode character; The shop is also ugly and the vulgar lights invade the living room of me and my neighbours. More serioulsy it does not offer much we did not already have - Maliks is a pretty decent community resource; much of his stuff (beans, spices etc) is cheaper than tescos, plus they are decent folk, lets ignore the dodgy fruit though. There was already netto and another mini tesco less than 10 minutes away - all the extra cars stopping arent really bringing anything new to the area. I agree with what Cheetham Hill said too.

home on the whalley rangeSeptember 25th 2009.

I live in whalley range and i despise the tescos on withington road and dont think subway adds owt either (I've not seen it full of kids at any time) we already had a pharmacy on the block and many items are cheaper (and equally good) in maliks which also has the advantage of being part of a community, friendly and helpful, although i do admit their fruit and veg could be better. Its also less than 10 minutes away from the upper chorlton road tescos. The express and metro stores dont offer the super cheap options larger stores do and add nothing to the character of the neighbourhood. We also now have lorries and greatly increased traffic too.

Play NiceSeptember 25th 2009.

Now, now Cas. You big SPOON!

CasSeptember 25th 2009.

Would it be better if local successful bars like Odd and Kro were banned from expanding? So ambitious people who'd obviously come up with a bar concept that works, were held back just in case it upset you.

Silly lefties give sensible ones a bad nameSeptember 25th 2009.

Honestly. Listen just because people have contrary reviews doesn't mean they are Tories. Haven't I seen articles about Gordon Brown and the TUC on here? I remember MANCON supporting the Congestion Charge which was hardly Tory policy was it? Let Gorse Hill have a Tesco, everywhere else has.

G HillSeptember 25th 2009.

Tesco in stretford on that site will drag the area up. Whalley Ranger was right, better a Subway than a boarded up unit. The shops on Chester Road at Gorse Hill will turn into bars and restaurants you'd hope encouraged by the amenity that is Tesco. I live there it's just crappy take-aways at present.

Cas, back from self imposed exileSeptember 25th 2009.

As a straight female, I too find that comments insulting lesbians are more accepted than those toward gay men. If someone on this site called a gay man a 'chutney ferret' they'd be up in arms so why ok to call lesbians 'carpet munchers'. To be honest I think it says more about JaneyBabey that she still uses such terms at her age and I bet she's a bit embarassed now. The best way to deal with these things is not to take the comments off but to make the people look rather foolish.

Big Hairy BlokeSeptember 25th 2009.

Jayneybaby, excellent, yes yes yes...

east lancsSeptember 25th 2009.

I'd have thought the Co-Op and Marks would form a commie pact! (I'll get me coat)

ReefermanSeptember 25th 2009.

It's just a shop. What we all need is a good war.

CasSeptember 25th 2009.

Is there chick, how lazy am I? Have just been ordering from Ocado, assuming Wilmslow was the nearest. I thank you. I could have checked their website really couldn't I! What a duffus.

CasSeptember 25th 2009.

Thanks Rosie, and anon Waitrose isn't that expensive.

east lancsSeptember 25th 2009.

This has all got a bit negative don't you think? Spread the love!

JaneybabySeptember 25th 2009.

Godalmighty its the Tesco debate again. Omigodalmighty. no no no no no no no no no no no no no. Pleasegodalmighty please, lets not go there again with all those carpet munching blue ink loving wanting to be like young boys and secretly jealous of co*ks (thats not cooks btw) horror women and those pathetic blokes with shaven heads who wouldn't say boo to a goose some of whom will be carrying a dribbling, snotty and horrifically named baby in a POUCH across their fronts who are declared house husbands whose real name should be WEAK lazy fuc*er who all go on and on and on and on and on about Tescos. It's just a fuc*ing SHOP for chrissakes. Godalmighty no. please no. <--------- bollocks the window doesn't open...

Whalley RangerSeptember 25th 2009.

Cas, you strange person - we are eagerly awaiting the opening of odd or kro in Whalley Range. It's a real market! If you read my comments above you would grasp that I am NOT opposed to chains. What would you call Kro no.100? or the next Odd bar? Duffus!

Test meSeptember 25th 2009.

The thing is that Test cricket is the point. The whole point. We might as well have a glorified Didsbury cricket club without it. Now what about the point in the article about the residents of Gorsehill, Stretford and so forth who would welcome this Tesco and who never shop - sadly maybe - in Out of the Blue. I can't see Ayres Road suffering for example as that caters to the Asian market. If this helps provide us with top class cricket then brint it on. I have a choice you see, I won't go to Tesco, but I will go to Test matches.

Lesbian Manchester Confidential ReaderSeptember 25th 2009.

What place do homophobia and bigotry have in this discussion? 'Carpet munchers' 'horror women?' etc. Is Manchester Confidential actually just a forum this aggressive hatred? How long will these comments be available to your readers before they are considered 'excessively rude or defamatory'?

G DownsSeptember 25th 2009.

Exactly.'We find this hard to believe because we shop in those shops precisely because they aren’t Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons. That’s not going to change. The audience for those shops isn’t going to go away. That will only happen if the people who advocate principles of diversity and quality are hypocrites who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.'

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