LETTER: Increasingly hard to argue for a supermarket in Louth

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Those people who continue to support the idea of a large supermarket on the cattle market must find it increasingly difficult to justify their stance, unless, of course, they are unaware of, or choose not to acknowledge the fundamental changes that are taking place in the way people shop.

Early in September, Tesco announced it was to sell the site earmarked for building a new store in Ilkley, saying that it had ‘reviewed its plans in line with a change in customer shopping habits’.

More recently, Waitrose boss Mark Price said that, as a result of a change in habits, out-of-town supermarkets and the weekly shop were now ‘a thing of the past’.

He added: ‘All these trends are effectively pulling people out of big box, out-of-town retailing. That is really the challenge that the ‘big four’ (Tesco, Sainbury’s, Asda and Morrisons) are facing. They have an estate for how people shopped two decades ago.’

It seems that more and more consumers are choosing to buy modest amounts as they need them, rather than buying a huge amount in one go. One advantage of this is that we avoid buying more than we actually need, something that supermarkets are very good at encouraging us to do. Interestingly, the government agency Wrap says that the amount of food we throw away has gone down by 21 percent since 2007. We’re becoming smarter shoppers!

Add to this the steady growth of online shopping, and it becomes more and more difficult to prove a case for another supermarket on the cattle market.

So, just think, if ELDC gets its way, we could have our very own supermarket dinosaur on the cattle market. What you might call moving Louth backwards.

Alan Mumby

Chairman, Keep Louth Special