LETTER: Do not ignore basic economics when it comes to Louth’s Cattle Market site

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I have read many arguments over the last few weeks concerning the building of a supermarket on the cattle market site and most seem to ignore the basic economics.

If a large supermarket is built on the site yes, some products will be available cheaper but most food products will be essentially the same things with another supermarkets own brand name.

The supermarkets we have, particularly when we finally get the Aldi store, will give as a very good spread of everyday products.

A larger supermarket such as those at Grimsby and Market Rasen would offer a greater range of non-food items which our local supermarkets do not offer.

So what will happen with the opening of a large supermarket.

Firstly there will be a price war between the competing stores that will force some prices down, okay good for some people.

Long term this could cause one of the smaller supemarkets to close producing maybe a derelict site close to the town centre. Secondly a large supermarket offering a wide range of non-food products would hit all the non-food selling shops in the town.

Thirdly a price war would attract people away from the local shops, many of which operate on small profit margins.

If they are not making a profit, they will be forced to close.

Fourthly, like those in other towns, a large supermarket would open a cafe/restaurant to entice people to stay in the store.

So would people then stop using our variety of local eateries?

The profit that any supermarket makes goes back to its head office, profits from local shops re-circulate within the town and help it to prosper.

A new supermarket would offer new jobs, or would it? In the long run, if local shops lost trade they would have to let staff go creating unemployment.

Louth is known as the ‘Capital of the Wolds’, it has a reputation for its service and products as a renowned food town, it has been voted Britain’s favourite market town.

It attracts tourism because of these qualities. In the long term a large supermarket would kill off all these qualities and create an empty shell of a town. A recent drive through Market Rasen, I think proves this pointm early Saturday afternoon the town was almost empty of people, Louth market place was crowded.

It took a very short time for that town to die. Even the Government incentive through the Mary Portas scheme has done little to save the town.

Sleaford Town Council is at this time also arguing against having a large supermarket close to the town centre. Why? To stop the town from being destroyed.

ELDC said in a recent statement that it would act in the best interests of the town and that the cattle market is in a poor state of repair and that a new one should be built.

Why is it in a poor state, the owners have neglected it for years, many livestock traders go elsewhere, who owns the site? Well, ELDC of course.

If the site is to be sold then it should be for the benefit of the town. A supermarket support group said that people would be able to park and food shop at the cattle market site then come into town for the rest of there shopping.

What other shopping if they can get all they want in one place, would people walk down Aswell Street or Upgate to visit an empty town centre and then walk back uphill.

I very much doubt it. Ask the market traders what a supermarket would do to their trade. Their products are local fresh, not brought in fresh? from elsewhere including Europe.

If ELDC really want to act in the best interests of the town, they should ask the people of the what they want, not a group of councillors from a large part of the county who have a vested interest in not having a large supermarket in their areas.

Before supermarket campaigners say it, I will state I am not a member of the Keep Louth Special Group, but I do agree with them in principle. We have a wonderful town here that needs very little in the way of improvements, they have some of the right ideas and are concerned for the town long term.

I have met very very few people who think a new large supermarket will do the town any good.

Stop any large supermarket, do not Move Louth Backwards.