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Tesco eyes Jilly’s RockWorld unit

Retailer moves in as councillor kicks off

Published on November 8th 2010.

Tesco eyes Jilly’s RockWorld unit

The vacant Oxford Road unit once occupied by Jilly’s Rock World is set to be a Tesco.

The retailer has submitted a licensing application for 63 Oxford Road in the city centre, which housed the former club until it closed last year.

City centre Lib Dem Councillor Marc Ramsbottom criticised Tesco for helping to create a ‘monoculture’ in Manchester.

"It's really disappointing that yet another store is turned over to become supermarket chain,” he said. “What the city centre needs in terms of food stores is variety, and what we are getting is a sort of monoculture totally dominated by chain stores.”

He has vowed to oppose any new licence application by Tesco in the city centre.

Jilly's and the neighbouring Music Box went into liquidation in April, when proprietor John Bagnall, who had been at the club for almost 40 years, said a three-year decline in revenues had proved to much to bear.

He also said the smoking ban had taken a chunk out of his trade.

“During the eighties Fagans and Rafters gave way to Jillys and Rockworld. Now the rock scene has been dropping for three years and we're just not getting the custom,” he said. “We can't go on anymore.”

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

AnonymousNovember 4th 2010.

Completely agree with Marc Ramsbottom here. There are already 7 proper Tesco stores right in the city centre (with a good few more just outside).

AnonymousNovember 4th 2010.

No! Enough is enough. Who exactly was responsible for allowing the lease to be sold to Tesco in the first place? Every Manchester councillor, whatever their political leaning, should oppose this. I hate f*ckING Tesco

AnonymousNovember 4th 2010.

There's a monoculture of supermarkets in nearly all of the UK, and most people are quite happy with it. Why does Councillor Ramsbottom think the small city centre of Manchester should be any exception?

Is there any evidence that city centre dwellers have diferent shopping habits to the rest of us?

AnonymousNovember 4th 2010.

Because, quite simply, there are far too many of them. Manchester city centre is small by comparison to a lot of city centres, there are seven Tesco stores within

Eddy RheadNovember 4th 2010.

Dont like em? Then dont use em.

EugeneNovember 4th 2010.

As an aside (and as i cannot see anywhere else to comment).....what is with the the new underworld tours...£10 each? WTF? That would be a lot without a Heroes discount (at which, there is ccurentluy, no discount!) and as previously implied...its a high cost!

The Mcr touris info ctr charge a lot less for their tours...what makes ManCon any different?

Eugene apologises for poor spelling!November 4th 2010.


AnonymousNovember 5th 2010.

Seven city centre Tesco stores? Big deal!

If Tesco think they can keep 7 going then why should anyone else worry?

How many moble phone shops are there in the city centre? How many clothes shops? A lot more than 7. We have hundreds of shops in the city centre, many of them selling exactly the same stuff available at other shops nearby. If this is a monoculture Tesco hasn't caused it.

Jo NNovember 5th 2010.

I can't believe people are actually defending the idea of another Tesco in the city centre. I live in this part of town and there's almost nowhere to buy goods that aren't pre-packaged and supermarket sourced (with all the attendant food miles), On the 8th Day being the honourable exception. Olive Deli has apparently had financial problems and is now little more than a late shop - perhaps this means the demand isn't there but am I really the only one who would kill for a Barbakan or similar in the city?

AnonymousNovember 6th 2010.

Hmm, it was a shame to see Jillys go, but as for having a pop at Tesco, well I think you've jumped on a band-wagon there. There are more Starbucks/Greggs etc around nearly as many Sainsburys and Co-op too.

As for why is it a Tesco and why aren't there more 'local' shops well its quite simple... Tesco (a private company) have signed a lease with the landlord (a private company) to take the space. Retail space is available through out Manchester city centre for any local entreprenaur to do the same and open a 'local' shop. This is because we live an a free democractic capitalist society, not a dictatorial socialist republic (now that really is a 'monoculture' where everything is sanctioned by the state... is that what Cllr Ramsbottom wants?

Problem is not enough people like shopping 'local' shops as most (with a few notable exceptions) are rubbish. People like shopping in the likes of Tesco. And Marc, please don't contest its application to sell booze on the basis its a Tesco, you cant oppose an application based on the shop name so it will only go to appeal, Tesco will win, make you look silly and cost the council more money.

LoveTescoHateTescoNovember 6th 2010.

If people didn't want a Tesco then Tesco wouldn't want a shop there. They'll have spent thousands on market research.

Anyone is free to open a competitor to Tesco if they don't like it.

Really what do you think could be there instead, a failed rock club?

D KesslerNovember 6th 2010.

Jo N, move to Chorlton or The Range if you want 'real' bread etc. But TESCO has also lifted the shopping experience here, I am afraid...difference is, you can ignore it.

M30November 6th 2010.

There wouldn't be this opposition for yet another Aleefs news selling stale £2 bread.
Viva la Tesco.

M30November 6th 2010.

I also hope Pat Karney's now pleased with himself now he sees the results of the smoking ban she so vocally campaigned for.
He's hammered nine inch nails to the coffin of Manchester's licensed trade....and all from the man who wants to make Manchester the Barcelona of England. More like Munich circa 1939.
A Tesco in this "store" will provide this self-aggrandising busybody his just desserts as well as providing reasonably priced groceries to customers.

BanesNovember 7th 2010.

I can't take any great joy from yet another Tesco's, but please let's not pretend it's killed off some indigenous urban fine food culture. I've been in the city centre since 1995, did we all benefit from a plethora of artisan deli's back then which have since suffered under Tesco's yoke?

From what I can remember before Tesco Metro deigned to open on Market Street people had to drive to Sainsburys out in Salford to do any sort of shop at all. Fish aside the Arndale market was useless back then and besides that it was Spar shops and glorfied newsagents/grocers (overpriced, terrible quality, awful selection) all the way. Oh, and that funny old butchers off Brazenoze street.

Selfridges food hall, Gastronomica, LSTD in various guises - various businesses, both independent and big companies, have had a go at selling us posh food and it just hasn't worked. We get what we want/deserve, or at least what most of us want/deserve, and sadly we obviously want/deserve Tescos.

If you want interesting independent food shopping in the city centre and environs take advantage of the Chinese, Asian, Thai, Japanese, African, Carribean, Jewish, Polish, Portugeuse and even Polish food stores dotted around the place. Otherwise posh it up at HN Foodhall.

Or if it matters that much then, as noted above, move to Chorlton where such a food and drink retail scene is flourishing.

BanesNovember 7th 2010.

Sorry, last city centre ethnic food store should have read "Brazilian", not Polish (twice). It's the place in the Arndale market, and is only small at the moment but has already upsized it's unit once so it's obviously working.

Should also have noted butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers in the Arndale seem to be thriving, and if fine wines are your thing then delight in the award winning Hanging Ditch wine merchants (or indeed the Spanish tipples at Evuna).

Ultimately I think you can foodshop pretty well in the city centre sticking only to independents (and maybe HN for deli stuff) with the only noticable gap I can see being a good bakers (though Teacup on Thomas Street are starting to seel some fantastic artisan breads - ask Dom, the manager).

It is workable, as long as you don't mind schlepping from shop to shop to get your weeks supplies together. Fact is though guys, that's what non-supermarket shopping is all about...

Man Con - maybe a challenge? Do a report on how to get a weekly food-shop together in the city centre whilst avoiding the supermarkets? Could tie it in with a meal-planner/dinner party menu (maybe Gordos CDWM effort...?).

Be educational, interesting (at least to me), and a big boost to the small food retailers.

Herr AlbrechtNovember 7th 2010.

...and remember, Aldi is NOT a supermarket, it's a lifestyle choice. Living a lot...

D KesslerNovember 7th 2010.

Top summary, Banes! I also recall Tesco's being there first and the drama before that.

May I add you forgot to mention the Greeks on Deansgate...

BanesNovember 7th 2010.

Fair point TWR, I did consider Katsouris but wasn't sure how much was proper deli food products for home as opposed to ready to eat/lunch stuff.

Can definitely include it as a food retailing option though, along with possibly Panchos for some Mexican specialities and of course the aforementioned Eighth Day for all things veggie and vegan.

Not forgetting also the new Booths (a wonderful, regional, non-supermarkety "supermarket") which will open at Mediacity shortly. Bit of a trek on the tram admittedly, but whups a TesSainsCoDi joint in the city centre.

Come on, let's have that city-centre food-shop feature!

M30November 7th 2010.

The fruit and veg place in the Arndale, despite lovely staff, is crap.
Most of the produce is sub-standard. MCC priced out the old fruit barrows so that's all there is in town now.
My out of town friends can't believe a city like Manchester doesn't have a proper butchers or bakers "in town"

D KesslerNovember 7th 2010.

M30, Katsouris for bread - I thought we established that earlier...

JNovember 8th 2010.

There is a proper butchers!!!

Near the Town Hall!

M30November 8th 2010.

Can you tell me where this elusive butchers is? I've been told there used to be one near the Rising Sun, but I fear I'd have to develop Sam Tyler style travelling ability to pick up any sausages there.

The only one I've ever found in the city centre is the one in the Arndale Market, and to be honest, it's not all that (ditto the "bakers" stall)

Go to any other city and there's at least a couple of butchers and traditional bakers (Katsouris is all very nice but sometimes I just want a sliced white loaf rather than truffle foccacia). Even Leeds puts Manchester to shame in terms of food available in the city centre.

D KesslerNovember 8th 2010.

Mate30, you can get white bread in any supermarket, what's your point? The real Barbakan stuff is sold at the Greeks...

M30November 8th 2010.

But I don't want a loaf of Mother's Pride. Sometimes I just want a traditional loaf of white or brown bread, as opposed to a sundried tomato and balsamic vinegar flatbread.

It never ceases to puzzle, annoy and frustrate me the lack of traditional bakers, butchers etc in Manchester City Centre. And I'm going back 12 years or more, so it certainly isn't Tesco who killed off the fruit barrows that I used to love shopping from on Church Street, it was Cllr Karney and his chums at MCC who began asking for exoribitant rents for the pitches.

BanesNovember 8th 2010.

I always found the barrows were a very mixed bag and slightly over-romaticised. I'd had a lot of slightly fluffy punnets of soft fruit from them over the years...

And again this comparison with other city centres surprises me. Yes some cities like Leeds and Leicester have brilliant food markets but are most major provincial city centres really dotted with long-established butchers, bakers and candlestickmakers?

Outside the aforementioned markets I've never come across a dedicated fulltime shop-unit butcher, baker, greengrocer or fishmonger in prime city-centre Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham or Newcastle for example.

There may be the odd one dotted around - I'm happy to be educated on that - but we can't pretend other metropolises comparable to Manchester have high streets festooned with independent food businesses.

Can we?

Oh, and I think the Brazenose St butchers closed getting on for a decade ago. Gordo will know I'm sure...

M30November 9th 2010.

Having lived in Newcastle, I can say that food shopping there was a pleasure, although it's changed a bit recently. Birmingham's a different story, I'd sooner take my chances food shopping in Dafur.

I can only think of a handful of non-Gabbotts Farm type butchers in Manchester, and they're few and far between and usually Chorlton/Didsbury end. It's ridiculous that I have to go to Lymm or Bury to get a pound of sausages. Any closer reccomendations welcome.

JNovember 9th 2010.

Butchers near Town Hall

Jack Morgan
Brazennose Street
Brazennose House West
Manchester M2 5AS
+44 (0) 161 834 9993

SadlyNovember 9th 2010.

That butchers closed about four years ago

Kevin PeelNovember 10th 2010.

It seems the supermarkets won't be happy until every shop in the city centre is owned by one of them! There needs to be a vibrant mix on offer to local residents and visitors to the city centre, I'd like to see something a bit different on the site.

JSNovember 11th 2010.

I love the little supermarket/deli under Deansgate Station, just wish it was a bit closer when the weather's crap! The Shop! we have in Castlefield is sub-standard and bloody expensive.

M30November 12th 2010.

You mean the "Lakeland Deli" ?!
Been in there thinking it'd be similar to Olive as wanted a cold bottle of wine with a screw top bottle for a train I was catching to Glasgow. They didn't have any.

GadgeNovember 14th 2010.

'decline in revenues had proved to much to bear.' Too much?

JSNovember 15th 2010.

M30 - strange, they're never short of booze in that place, sure you weren't just being picky?

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