Rumours have been flying around for some time, as to whether Tesco are coming to Ventnor.
A quick check on the iwight Website confirmed that the planning application to demolish and rebuild on the site of 52-56 High Street (between Magical Wanderings and The Central Tap) has been approved and work is due to start shortly.
I’ve seen first hand how this supermarket giant have gone into a town and destroyed the local businesses … bakers, butchers, fishmongers and florists having to close down over a period of years, resulting in the town being left with a monolithic supermarket, and rows of empty shops in its shadow – dead except for the pallid fluorescent light they pump out on to the street.
Often, it’s the developers who drive these schemes, and who are, of course, motivated by money rather than the good of the community – despite what they protest at the time. However, from what I’ve seen of the community spirit in Ventnor, I’d be surprised if people switched from the local businesses – until Tesco drop their prices.
From what I’ve observed, tricks used by Tesco previously include :
– opening 24 hours “for your convenience”. This was until the local businesses that did open late, found it impossible to compete and closed. Tesco then returned to normal operating hours, “your convenience” then being forgotten.
– aggressively dropping prices, until the local shops could no longer compete.
I do hope that when Tesco finally opens in Ventnor, my doubts are proved wrong.
There’s a poll on the forum where you can vote ‘yay’ or ‘nay’.
If anyone is interested in viewing the plans for the site, they are available online. Application numbers: TCP/13798/C PIN: P/01572/04