Same, same, same...
Yes, there it is again. A day doesn’t go by without another supermarket opening up. They are clogging the area up. Sainsbury’s has now 3 supermarkets within walking distance from each other. Tesco’s is catching up.
Supermarkets are useful and convenient, but when they start popping up everywhere, they become a nuisance.
This behaviour by these large companies is nothing short of a disease. It’s as if they suffer from an Attention Seeking Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, willing to impose their presence everywhere, convinced we need them in every street corner. We don’t.
When we first wrote about this we asked readers to answer a survey regarding supermarkets in the area. 57 people responded but not all answered all the questions. Still 94.44 % replied they didn’t want another supermarket.
Question 5 of the survey asks: What would you rather see opening up in Portobello Rd - or near where you live and the same is happening?
The replies below are interesting and point clearly to independent shops. Here they are unedited:
- A preserving shop. A breadmaking shop. A brewery. A new age shop. A good charidee shop. A shop where people are taught to flower arrange one week, sew the next, knit socks and crochet blankets. Not another cafe, shoe shop or hairdressers. Not a chain.
- Independent butcher, a baker, book shop,
- Independent shops. The big companies are everywhere.
- Nice wine shop!
- Farmer's markets, locally run indepdenent delis and shops where the owners know their customers, care about the neighbourhood and put back into the community as shops like Ceramic Blue who have been there for years and the Cloth Shop
- a restaurant, Pub .. not another damned antiques shop tho!
- Shops that used to be in the Portobello: shops that fixed things etc!
- Anything independent. So sick of seeing the same shops/brands every where
- A late-night restaurant
- butcher, fishmonger, bakery, independent shops in general
- Something unique. It could be an independent clothing shop, and though I've said no more supermarkets, I would not be opposed to an independent or specialist grocer. A haberdashery shop would be nice. Do those even exist anymore?
- Parents and children play zone at weekends
On question 7 “If you were given the choice what would you do with 50% of the supermarkets that exist in your area?” over 64 % of the replies chose to “close them” or “Close them and send them into deep space.... far, far away... into firmament...”
Artist impression of a supermarket in space
Importantly, 94.44 % understand residents are not are properly consulted about these changes in their neighbourhoods and 24.56 % believe Social Networks (Facebook; Twitter, etc) could improve the communication between Planning Departments/local Councillors and residents.
Finally, on question 10 “ Anything you'd like to add?” there are 5 replies, the first of which questions the seriousness of the survey. Others however point to council rates or councils not being concerned with homogenisation of the high streets.
See unedited answers below:
- Think some of the options given as possible answers above are not very useful if survey to be taken seriously.
- There are sainsburys and tescos up and down ladbroke grove, all round notting hill, they sap the life out of communities, leave portobello's integrity intact
- It's not like the Council would listen it??
- 4another copy paste highstreet, see kings road
- If no one else can financially make the space work the problem is deeper than supermarkets but council rates need to be sorted out to allow local trade to be competitive or force super markets to sell trade prices to local businesses to compete on equal t