A new Sainsbury’s express store will be opening soon in Bruntsfield, taking the place of Peckhams. The process of dismantling the old store to allow the conversion has already begun, despite strong opposition from locals. The area already has another supermarket nearby, with a Tesco Metro in close proximity.
Merchiston Community Council Chair, Dr Mairianna Clyde, said:- ”We understand there is a lot of anger around the issue. At the meeting last Thursday evening, it was apparent the local community who attended were unanimously against the opening.
“It is in the public domain now, but it did not need to be advertised, as no planning consent was required. The Peckhams chain apparently had financial problems and it was expected that the business would be restructured. However the operator of Peckhams approached Sainsbury’s, and it has been a quick process.
“I understand that MP Ian Murray will be coordinating a group, and residents will be forming an association regarding this matter. But there are people who will benefit from the convenience of a Sainsbury’s open till late including students. The Tesco that opened has not put anyone out of business.”
Several local businesses are concerned at the prospect of another large store opening in the busy thoroughfare. Mohammed Arshad, owner of News Plus said:-“It’s terrible, especially as there is already a Tesco. There’s a few shops struggling already, especially small businesses like corner shops.
“These are hard times, and a green grocer is already out of business because of Tesco. The Bruntsfield News across the road are having trouble, but multinational companies will always beat family businesses.”
However, many remain optimistic. Angus Christie from the Family Butcher Store commented:- ”We will just have to wait and see, as you can’t stop them. I think many people will still support their local butcher, and local businesses. They want quality, not quantity.”
Bhunada from Orient Thai Market said:-“The Tesco store hasn’t affected me. Hopefully this store won’t affect me, as I will offer a different product. The local people don’t have rights in the matter so there is nothing we can do.” Coco of Bruntsfield’s Mandy Kovalik shared the sentiment :-”People vote with their feet. It may very well receive a lot of business regardless of the opposition.”
Local MP Ian Murray said:-“
Commenting, Ian Murray MP said:”Bruntsfield is one of the most thriving and vibrant communities in Edinburgh, with a wide array of outstanding independent shops, for this reason, it is vitally important that we all work together to minimise any effect this could have on the area, but also maximise the positives that this could bring. To aid in this, I repeat the offer that I made at the meeting on Thursday night, to have my office help local traders create a “Bruntsfield Traders Association”. This will help encourage local residents to shop locally, and as a local resident myself, I hope that this will keep our outstanding local community thriving as it has done for so many years.”