Tesco is planning to increase its dominance in what has already been crowned Britain’s biggest ‘Tesco town’ with an application to build a fourth store in Inverness, Scotland.
The plan for the 48,000 sq ft store would increase Tesco’s dominance of the area, pushing up its share of the postcode area from 51% to 55%, according to location planning and market analysts CACI.
The store would be two miles away from an existing Tesco Metro, three miles from a standard supermarket and slightly more than four miles from an Extra store.
The only other supermarkets in the town are a Morrisons, a few miles from the proposed Tesco development, a Co-operative Group store and a Lidl, although there are other stores in the wider catchment.
Asda has been eyeing the area for several years but has never formally put in an application to open a store. However, Asda property spokeswoman Claire Irvine said it was actively seeeking a site. “We have a store in the neighbouring town of Elgin, but we would love a store in Inverness. There are lots of Tescos, so, in terms of choice, an Asda development would be appropriate.”
A Tesco spokesman denied that a public meeting last week of more than 300 local people who oppose the site was a reflection of the town’s opinion.
Tesco was extremely popular in Inverness, he said, and its proposal fitted in with the local council’s plan for a new supermarket within the town.
“This is nothing like a Tesco monopoly,” said the spokesman. “There is choice and the other supermarkets in the town represent 100,000 sq ft of competition, aside from smaller stores. We think the development is in line with local and national planning policies, so we remain confident about it.”
Rachel Barnes