Monday, October 28, 2013

Marple's future in the hands of Waitrose

There's a great phrase I heard yesterday - crucibles of snobbery. That's supermarkets, by the way. The ultimate status symbol for a community is the supermarket in its centre.

I remember when it all kicked off in Marple over the college site. Dave Goddard, leader of the Stockport Council, joshed with a few of us that we were snotty Marple types who only protested because it was likely to be turned into an Asda or a Tesco. Not so, we protested. But now the possibility of a Waitrose on Chadwick Street has met with barely a flicker of protest. There's obviously the reason that the site is more suitable for a supermarket of a certain size in the centre, but there's also a frisson that a new presence will lift the whole area. I think it will. Something needs to.

Every step forward seems to be matched by a couple back. Paul Howard Menswear closing is a real loss to the Main Street. Yet it's an opportunity for Richard Morris of All Things Nice to expand his excellent deli. The result, sadly, will be to kill off one or more of the caf├ęs on that part of Market Street, I guarantee it. 

The Waitrose option is what most people want, but it will also bring disruption, displacement and change, but it will be a sign that the media types moving in to the area are in good hands.

There's a link here - http://bbc.in/1bswIOi - to a detailed piece on the BBC magazine about the value of a supermarket of a certain character. 

The question we also need to ask is this: what if Lidl step in? And personally, I'd rather have a Booths.

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