Shopkeepers in Garstang have hit out at Aldi for taking trade away from independent traders.
The new Moss Lane store opened at the beginning of December but was not welcomed by all, as concerns were expressed by independent traders that major developments are threatening Garstang’s “quaint, picturesque” image .
We believe our store will generate additional footfall to Garstang town centre which will bring further trade to local businessesAldi
In the run up to being given planning permission by Wyre to open the store, Aldi representative, Bryn Richards, responded to the growing concerns about the development in the area.
He said: “We don’t have a separate butchers or bakers. We don’t sell newspapers or cigarettes, so do not feel we take too much away from town centre retailers. We aim to complement them.”
But since the store opened at the start of this month independent traders say the store has taken trade away from Garstang’s high street.
Richard Whyman, owner of Market Place News in Garstang, said: “The fact they are compliant is because no attempt was made by our local councillors to put any guide lines in place.
“We are therefore left with hoping they practice with integrity. I regret the absence of any economic strategy for the town centre from Wyre Borough Council – this would help give direction.
“It is pointless them offering these items, the profit would be trivial to them. I however can see a 10 per cent drop off already.
“Combine this with Booths offering free papers, which has reduced my weekend sales by 48 per cent, and you can see how destructive things become.
We are only one shop, the issue is long term impact as less people habitually use the High Street with banks, post offices etc all needing footfall to merit their position.”
A spokesperson for Aldi said: “We are fully compliant with our permission in selling newspapers and magazines, and recognise local shops stock a much wider range of products that we do not compete with.”
“We believe our store will generate additional footfall to Garstang town centre which will bring further trade to local businesses.”