Local shop owners have expressed concern over rumours that a Tesco Express will open in a disused pub in South Croydon.
Although Croydon Council have not confirmed Tesco have applied for planning permission, Selsdon Road shopkeepers fear Tesco’s arrival is imminent and would have a devastating effect on local businesses.
Rumours have been growing in recent weeks, with shop keepers saying the new supermarket would be located on the ground floor of the historical pub in Swan and Sugar-loaf pub on Brighton Road, which has been closed since March 2010.
The building is owned by the Whitgift Foundation, who have not confirmed that a deal has been agreed despite building work on the property ongoing.
Croydon council could not confirm that a planning application has been made for a change of use.
Kalpana Patel, co-owner of the South End post office, thinks the rumour is true. Patel said: “It is a very bad idea to open a new Tesco Express at the Brighton road as it will affect not only my business but will have a pressure on many local shops, restaurants and businesses.
“It would be a better idea to open McDonalds or maybe a gym instead of Tesco as it is a perfect spot considering the nearby school with lots of students and the new apartments being build on the top floors of the Swan and Sugar-loaf pub.”
I think McDonalds will work great especially when the KFC just closed recently. It should be something useful to be opened, something that will keep local business going and add a benefit to the local residents. If the new Tesco plan is confirmed it will turn Brighton Road into a ghost street with masses of empty premises.’
James Murphy, local resident with a property business in South Croydon said: “I hear that many people are against the Tesco’s expansion plan but experience tells me that afterwards we all will be happy about it”.
Marcia, South Croydon resident said: “It is a 50/50 solution for the area. It will be good for local shoppers, as now they won’t travel far to do grocery shopping but very negative for shops nearby.
“I had my own business a while ago and I remember exactly the same situation happened when a new Tesco Express opened just opposite my business. As a result of this I needed to close my business as I was loosing all my customers.”
The Guardian reported last month that Tesco aims to open thousands more stores. The food retailer plans to open enough new stores in future years to cover 500 football pitches, which would increase the retailers trading space by up to 50 per cent.