Tesco’s plans to open a 35,000 sq ft store in Gerrards Cross have faced intense criticism from residents concerned about the impact it will have on the town and particularly on their local traders.
The store was approved on appeal in 2002, overturning South Bucks District Council’s rejection in 1997.
However, CACI’s analysis reveals that residents might well have given a more sympathetic reception to a Waitrose or Sainsbury store than they did to the Tesco application.
The ACORN profile reveals that the catchment population is dominated by Wealthy Executives, who make up a remarkable 56% of local shoppers. Secure Families and Prosperous Professionals make up a further 17%.
The overall Waitrose customer profile fits closely to the Gerrards Cross catchment. It performs particularly well among the Wealthy Executives and is well matched on the other two key ACORN groups.
Tesco, on the other hand, doesn’t appeal particularly strongly to Wealthy Executives or Prosperous Professionals and has an overall fit to the catchment well behind that of Waitrose, and some way behind both Sainsbury and Marks and Spencer.
That said, it is Tesco that has bought the site and residents are still likely to shop at the new Tesco given the lack of alternatives in the immediate vicinity. As a result, the store is likely to achieve turnover levels inside the top half of the core Tesco estate.
Since the closure of the town’s Budgens, the nearest multiple competitor is the Budgens in Chalfont St Peter so Tesco is likely to mop-up.
It is also strong in the surrounding area, which is truncated to the east by Tesco stores in Uxbridge and Rickmansworth, to the south by Slough and to the north by its store in Amersham. Key local rivals Waitrose and Sainsbury dominate the west, with locations in Beaconsfield.
A staggering 63% of supermarket expenditure within the catchment has the potential to be allocated to one of these Tesco stores. Sainsbury lags with 18% and Waitrose is likely to serve just 3% of the catchment. Waitrose appears to have missed an opportunity in Gerrards Cross.
Obviously Tesco will experience considerable cannibalisation. CACI predicts a net gain in weekly sales of just £364,000.
On the positive side Tesco will be heavily impacting the sales of Sainsbury, stealing over £175,000 of weekly sales,while Waitrose will remain relatively unscathed.
These predictions assume that turnover generated by the new store is taken from other supermarkets.
Given the lack of multiples in Gerrards Cross, local businesses are right to assume that Tesco must steal trade from other sources.